By Keeli Parkey
A Unicoi County High School track and field athlete had a very good week last week.
On Monday, April 24, Lady Devil Stephanie Wisse qualified for the state pentathlon meet thanks to her second-place performance at a meet held in Greeneville. Wisse followed this accomplishment with another a few days later when she officially became a member of the Milligan College track and field program with a signing ceremony on Thursday, April 27.
“I feel like I am part of the family when it comes to the Milligan track team, and I believe that all that I’m known for will help the program,” Wisse told The Erwin Record. “I will be a multi-event athlete for the Milligan Buffs.”
For Wisse, deciding where she would compete after high school came down to two schools – Milligan and East Tennessee State University.
“I had originally been verbally committed to ETSU, but when I went on my campus visit at Milligan I just knew it was the right place for me,” Wisse said. “The most that stood out to me about Milligan was the positive atmosphere and I felt very accepted from everyone.”
Wisse’s decision was met with approval by her high school coach.
“I am glad to see Stephanie sign with Milligan,” UCHS head coach Megan Davis said. “We have talked for three years about her competing at the collegiate level. For her to actually commit somewhere adds legitimacy to all the work she has put it and it adds legitimacy to our track program. It’s a good move for her, for us and for Milligan.”
Davis said she believes Wisse will be a welcome addition to the Lady Buffs program.
“Stephanie brings a raw talent to Milligan,” Davis said. “Yes, she brings speed to their program, but she also brings her ability to compete in many events. We have had her compete in 10 different events this season. She is not your typical track athlete because she can do so many things. She’s the whole package.”
Milligan coach Jeremy Clonce said Wisse is a “great fit” for the Lady Buffs.
“The biggest thing that appeals to me about Stephanie is her work ethic,” he said. “She is such a hard worker and is also a good student. We watched her last year and pursued her this year. I think she is going to be a great fit for our program.”
Clonce said that because Wisse “does so many things so well” what events she will compete in during her career at Milligan have yet to be determined.
“We will sit down and figure out what direction we will go in,” he added.
Wisse is the second UCHS senior to commit to Milligan’s track program. Blue Devil Cameron Higgins committed to Milligan in December as a thrower.
“Cameron is such a great kid, too,” Clonce said. “To have him and Stephanie come to us from Unicoi is unbelievable. Coach Davis and coach (Thad) Higgins have done a wonderful job here. We love to have local student athletes become part of our program.”
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Wisse and the UCHS track athletes competed in a meet at Science Hill on Tuesday, May 2, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
Wisse has been invited to compete in the TriCitiesSports.com Relays on Friday, May 5, at Science Hill.
Qualifying UCHS athletes will also compete at the subsectional meet on May 9 in Greeneville and the sectional meet on May 17 at Chattanooga Christian School.