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Appalachian State Track and Field Announces Signing Class
App State director of track & field and cross country Damion McLean announced the 2023-24 signing class on Friday.
“With the new facility, recruits are able to see the new vision that App State Track & Field and Cross Country has of the future,” said head coach Damion McLean. “The overall class of these young ladies and men will make an impact early and throughout their academic and athletic careers here on the mountain. The commitments we’ve heard from this group are astonishing, and as a coaching staff, we are excited to get to work with such talent.”
Jayla Adams | Sprints | Raleigh, N.C. | Enloe HS | Charlotte
Adams joins the Mountaineers as a transfer from Charlotte and will specialize in sprints. Adams has a personal best of 12.12 in the 100 meters, 24.91 in the 200 meters, and 58.11 in the 400 meters. In high school, Adams earned her OSHA certification and graduated from the medical bioscience academy. She also competed on the Purpose Driven NC Elite Club team. Adams will study exercise science as would like to become a physician’s assistant.
Rhys Ammon | Distance/CC | Franklin, Tenn. | Centennial HS
Joining the Mountaineers’ cross country and distance track crew will be Rhys Ammon. Ammon hails from Franklin, Tenn. and placed fourth in the 4×800-meter relay at the state meet and was also a team captain. Her club team was also named top performing girls cross country and distance track team in 2022-23. Ammon boasts a personal best of 8:16 in the 800 meters and a personal best of 5:01 in the 1,600 meters. Ammon has a brother who currently competes as a swimmer at Connecticut College. She intends on studying environmental science while at App State.
Gabrielle David | Jumps | Columbia, S.C. | Heathwood Hall Episcopal HS
Columbia, S.C. native Gabrielle David will join the Mountaineers’ jumps squad. David is a three-time long jump state champion and two-time triple jump state champion. She also holds the private school state records in both long jump and triple jump events. As a member of the DreamChaserz club team, David became a two-time AAU Junior Olympic All-American. David’s personal bests are 5.85m (19′ 2.5″) in the long jump, 11.63m (38′ 2″) in the triple jump, and 12.12 in the 100 meters. David intends on studying criminal justice while at App State and plans on attending law school later on. She is also the younger sister of former WNBA player turned lawyer Iciss Tillis.
Armonté Ferguson | Sprints | Charlotte, N.C. | Charlotte Christian School
Hailing from Charlotte, N.C. and joining the ranks of the App State sprinters will be Armonté Ferguson. Ferguson was a member of the All-State indoor team, who competed in the 55 meters and 300 meters. He was also ranked first in both 55 meters and 300 meters. In 2021, Ferguson was the NCHSAA state champion in the 100 meters and 4×100-meter relay and in 2020, he was the NCHSAA indoor state runner-up in the 4×200-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay. Ferguson boasts personal bests of 6.90 in the 60 meters, 10.65 in the 100 meters, 21.81 in the indoor 200 meters, and 35.36 in the indoor 300 meters. Ferguson, who plans on studying kinesiology and exercise science while at App State, is related to former App State basketball player and current NBA G-League player Adrian Delph.
Matthew Gray | Pole Vault | Bryson City, N.C. | Swain County HS
Specializing in the pole vault will be Matthew Gray. The Bryson City native is a two-time outdoor pole vault state champion and was the 2022-23 indoor pole vault state champion. He was also a 2022 Outdoor Adidas Nationals All-American, and 2023 Indoor Nike and Adidas Nationals All-American in the pole vault event. Gray’s personal best in the pole vault is 5.08m (16′ 8″) and he is ranked seventh in the indoor pole vault and 13th in the outdoor pole vault in the country. Gray intends on studying mathematics while at App State.
Jared Hiatt | Jumps | Mount Airy, N.C. | North Surry HS
Hailing from Mount Airy, N.C. is Jared Hiatt. Hiatt will compete in the jumps category after being a six-time indoor all-conference and six-time outdoor all-conference honoree at North Surry High School. Hiatt also earned All-State accolades for the 2022 outdoor season and was a two-time state champion for indoor long jump and a state champion in the outdoor long jump. He was the 2023 state runner up in the indoor high jump and a 2023 Adidas All-American in the indoor pentathlon. In 2022, Hiatt was a Junior Olympic qualifier. While at App State, he intends on studying exercise science and would like to become a strength and conditioning coordinator.
Kendall Johnson | Sprints | Raleigh, N.C. | Millbrook HS
Joining the Mountaineers’ sprints squad will be Kendall Johnson. Johnson hails from Raleigh, N.C. and attended Millbrook High School, where she holds the program record in the 55 meters. She also stands third in the school all-time list in the 100 meters and 200 meters. In 2021, she was the Cap-7 Conference champion in the 200 meters and 4×200-meter relay and was named Most Valuable Sprinter. She also competed for the Rolesville Lightning club team, where she set state, regional, and national records. Johnson plans on studying healthcare management while at App State.
Kaitlyn Obremski | Distance/CC | Hampstead, N.C. | Topsail HS
Joining the Mountaineers’ cross country and distance crew from Hampstead, N.C. is Kaitlyn Obremski. Obremski holds eight of her high school’s program records and is a four-time MidEastern Conference cross country champion and Runner of the Year selection. The Hampstead native was the 2023 4A Region champion in the 1,600 meters and runner-up in the 3,200 meters and the 2022 4A Region cross country runner-up. She is also a two-time 3A Region cross country champion and three-time All-State cross country selection. Obremski has a 5K (XC) PR of 17:30, a 1,600 meters PR of 4:59, and a 3,200 meters PR of 10:52. She plans on studying exercise science while at App State and her sister, Makayla, currently competes on the Eastern Carolina cross country and track team.
Ethan Shoemaker | Jumps | Seneca, S.C. | Seneca HS
Seneca, S.C. native Ethan Shoemaker will specialize in the high jump for the Mountaineers. Shoemaker finished third in the high jump at the 3A State Championship. He also was a 3A state runner-up in basketball during the 2020-21 season and competed on the Tempo Sports Academy club team under the direction of CJ Davidson. Shoemaker intends to study business or sports management while at App State.
Sierra Smith | Sprints | Hampton, Ga. | Nation Ford HS
Hailing from Hampton, Ga. is sprinter Sierra Smith. During her high school career at Nation Ford, Smith earned All-Region honors in the 4×100-meter relay, 4×400-meter relay, 100 meters, and 400-meter hurdles. She also garnered All-State accolades in the 4×100-meter relay and 100-meters. Competing with her club team, Smith earned All-Region honors in the 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay in 2022 and 2023. Smith has personal bests of 11.85 in the 100 meters, 24.82 in the 200 meters, 57.88 in the 400 meters, and 1:04.98 in the 400-meter hurdles. Smith plans on pursuing a degree in exercise science to become a physical therapist.
Nicole Wells | Sprints | Sumter, S.C. | Sumter HS
Nicole Wells will join the Black and Gold as a sprinter from Sumter, S.C. Wells is a three-time All-Region honoree and 2022 Nike Indoor national champion in the 200 meters. She also placed at the 2021 and 2022 state meets. Competing with her club team, Bionic Sports Performance, Wells qualified for the 2022 Nike Indoor and Outdoor Nationals as well as the 2023 New Balance Indoor and Outdoor Nationals. Wells boasts personal bests of 11.92 in the 100 meters, 24.54 in the 200 meters, 39.39 in the 300 meters, and 57.14 in the 400 meters. Wells plans on studying exercise science to become a physical therapist.