Courtesy photo/Ken Maydew
NIWOT — Since she began running track, Niwot’s Dana Maydew has dreamt of continuing her running career at the Division I level.
This past year, Maydew’s father was watching the Clemson University football team on television. After enjoying the game, Maydew became a fan and immediately began to research the school. The school in distant South Carolina quickly became her dream university.
Signing her national letter of intent to run track for the Tigers next season, Maydew realized two dreams at once.
“I became interested in it when it was brought to my attention earlier in the summer and it looked like a school where I would fit in well,” Maydew said. “Then I got in contact with the track coach and the track program seemed really nice. They have outstanding athletic facilities and they treat all their athletes really well so it seems like a great place to go.”
Most notably, Maydew anchored the Cougars’ 1,600-meter relay team that took first place and clinched the school’s first team track championship at the 2013 state meet.
One of the Cougars’ most versatile athletes, she will continue to compete in many events this season and expects to be a big point-scorer at state for the defending Class 4A champions. But when it comes to her collegiate career, the Clemson Tigers might have a few surprises planned.
At least at this early point, Maydew said she will likely be a hurdler. This would be a big change for her so perfecting her hurdling technique will be the primary focus of her senior season.
“I’m running a lot of different events this year but I’m mainly focusing on the hurdles and the 800 because so far we’ve talked about running those events in college,” Maydew said. “I need to get my hurdle technique down a little bit better but so far it’s going well. I’m training hard and getting better so I think it’s going to be good.”
Maydew chose to join Clemson at the Division I level despite offers from Division II schools, including the Colorado School of Mines, and an offer to walk on with the defending NCAA champion Kansas Jayhawks.
The Cougars currently own the best times in Colorado’s 4A classification in the 1,600 relay, sprint medley relay and 300 hurdles (Kela Fetters). Along with teammate Elise Cranny, who recently signed to run for Stanford, Cougars head coach Maurice Henriques said Maydew is yet another example of the class of athlete Niwot High School is currently producing.
“I think it’s awesome,” Henriques said. “She’s a young senior and it will be great for her to go out and run D-I track and progress. Studying engineering was a big thing for her and she’ll get to do that too. It also says a lot about the girls we have in our program and how we’re going to have a lot of girls coming out and going to D-I and D-II schools.”
Maydew’s father Ken Maydew said he was happy to see his daughter get what she wanted and what she has been working towards for so long.
“Clemson has amazing facilities, especially for a school with only 16,000 undergrad students or something like that,” Ken Maydew said. “We took the full tour and they told Dana they wanted her. She’s going to study engineering and this is her dream school. They want her to start right away this summer and she’s really excited.”
Dana Maydew got what she wanted. So did the Clemson Tigers.
Follow Brad on Twitter: twitter.com/BradCochi