For The Tribune

Crothersville’s Brittany Ross said when she was choosing a college, she was looking for a place where she could find a major she was interested in while also competing in athletics.

For those reasons, and others, the senior signed a letter of intent last Thursday to attend St. Francis University in Fort Wayne where she will major in radiology and compete as a member of the track and field team.

“They have a really good radiology program,” Ross. “Hopefully, by the end of two years I’ll be an x-ray technician. The school in general is really pretty,” she said. “I felt like at home because it’s not too big, and it’s too small, it’s just perfect, especially growing up around there.”

Ross was on the track team at Trinity Lutheran before joining the Tigers.

She said she has been throwing shot and discus since sixth grade.

The senior has thrown the shot 25 feet, and she wants to increase that distance this spring.

“I’m hoping to get up a little higher, I’d say to 26 or 27,” she said. “It’s really hard to make that big of an improvement. I’ve been gliding but I’m hoping to be able to spin by the end of the season.”

She said her career-best in the discus is 85 feet.

“I’ve only thrown that once,” Ross said. “My goal is to get 90. I like the discus better because I’ve always been better at it. I have more of an understanding of it.

“You have to have a good arc, make sure you’re spinning properly and make sure you have the right form when you’re at the top of your release to get it out there further, and make sure it comes off your point finger.”

Ross said another reason she is going to college in Fort Wayne is because of her grandparents.

“That is where my grandparents live so I’ll be living with them, so it will be easier for me to adjust because I’ll be with family and I’ll have a smaller environment that I’m used to so I’m excited,” she said. “It will do wonders for me getting my associates degree.”

Carl Bowman, track coach at Crothersville said he feels Ross can be a solid contributor at St. Francis.

“She’s a hard worker,” Bowman said. “She’s willing to take instructions and willing to apply them. She doesn’t have this preconceived notion that she knows everything and that you can’t tell her how to change stuff.

“She’s always looking, when she goes to other places, she asks other kids what program they are using, what process.”

Corey Birchmeier, assistant track coach at St. Francis, looks forward to Ross’ addition.

“We’re recruiting her for the throws,” Ross said. “We’re very excited to get her. She’s a very hard worker. She’s done real well in her academics, so she’s a very nice person to get on our team, and she is really going to come in and help us a lot next year.”

He said he feels Ross can have a good career there throwing the weights.

“I think she’s going to be big in the shot and discus,” Birchmeier said. “In college we have a couple new events, the hammer and javelin. I could see her becoming a real good hammer thrower. She’s got the build for it. It’s a unique event, very cool to watch.”

This is the first year for a women’s track team at St. Francis.

There are 40 women on the team, and Birchmeier said he expects that number to grow to 60 next year.

Ross is a three-sport athlete at Crothersville as she also played volleyball and plans to also play softball in the spring.

She said it takes a lot of her time in the spring to play softball and participate in track.

Ross owns a discus and a shot put and she plans to practice on weekends.

St. Francis is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school, and is a member of the Crossroads League that is made up of colleges from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.