In a matter of seconds, three senior student-athletes at Cheyenne Mountain catapulted themselves into perhaps the nation’s most competitive college conference.
“You’ve worked extremely hard just to get there, and once you’re there, you’re going to have people around you working just as hard,” said Indians senior swimmer Cat Wright, who’s headed to Alabama after signing her national letter of intent Wednesday. “I’m going to be surrounded by so many great athletic teams. The SEC is full of them, no matter what sport. That was what drew me to Alabama.”
Wright, the reigning 4A state champion in the 100 butterfly, was joined by boys’ swimmer Kyle Leach (Missouri) and girls’ soccer player Claire Ross (Mississippi State) to sign with SEC schools. Boys’ basketball player Luke Martin also put his signature on a letter to Colorado Christian, a Division II school that competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Leach, who also won the 4A state title in the 100 butterfly for Cheyenne Mountain last year, visited a host of potential suitors, including Iowa, Arizona and Louisville.
“My goal was to swim in Division 1,” Leach said. “For me, it came down to the team atmosphere at Missouri. Everything was for the team. What drove the team is how they pushed each other. I wanted to be part of that.”
Wright, to her surprise, was caught off guard at the sheer excitement captured at the signing table, long a goal of hers.
“It was very emotional, more emotional than I thought it would be,” Wright said. “I didn’t cry personally, but there were a few crying at the table, which I thought was very cool. Just to look and see family and longtime friends supporting me meant everything.”