Signing day: Five Knights ink letters with Division-I programs

BOULDER — Plenty of athletes signed national letters of intent on Wednesday. Not many got to do so while their best friend was nearby doing the same.

Fairview senior swimmers Abbie Houck and Lacey Smith, both high school All-Americans and junior nationals finalists, got to do just that. Houck signed with Louisville, while Smith will swim next year for Northwestern.

“It’s fun to see how much we’ve grown since freshman year and to sign together,” Smith said.

The two made their choices from impressive lists of schools. Houck had offers from Wisconsin, Denver and Alabama, while Smith chose Northwestern over Columbia, Penn, Brown and Cal-Poly.

Their signings highlighted a day in which five FHS athletes signed with Division-I colleges to head a group of seven signees overall.

Boys basketball player Austin Sparks, a recent transfer from Valor Christian, signed with South Dakota. Girls golfer Kelly Moran signed with William and Mary. And volleyball player Tori Anderson signed with Eastern Kentucky to round out the D-I contingent.

Tennis player Jessee Clauson, a state champion at No. 2 doubles last spring, signed with Division-II Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. And girls basketball player Georgina Ryder signed with Carnegie Mellon.

All of the Wednesday signees at Fairview aside from Anderson still have one prep season to complete in their respective sports before moving on to the next level.

“Last year was a lot of pressure,” Moran said of trying to earn a college scholarship. “This year it’s kind of nice to enjoy the success and play hard.”

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