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Seabury’s Volner verbally commits to Santa Clara

Volner

PAIA — Getting recruited is not always easy for student-athletes living on a small island, and even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic when there have been very few opportunities to compete and show their talents.

Kaylee Volner of Seabury Hall remained proactive in achieving her longtime dream.

Volner verbally committed to Santa Clara University last week to continue her cross country career with the Broncos.

“I put myself out there, I reached out to all the coaches at the schools I was interested in,” said Volner, who has missed nearly half her high school running career — two track and field seasons and one in cross country — due to the pandemic. “I just feel like you have to go out on a limb and just hope for the best and just keep pushing for it because with perseverance you can do anything.”

Volner, the Maui Interscholastic League cross country champion and state runner-up as a sophomore in 2019, will join the NCAA Division I women’s cross country team on a partial athletic scholarship in the fall. She also plans to compete in track and field for the Broncos.

She will sign a National Letter of Intent in November.

At Santa Clara, the Maui runner plans to pursue an education in biochemistry to eventually become a pharmacist, but still, the news hasn’t settled in just yet.

“I’m still trying to process what happened and that I’m actually going to be able to run in college because since freshman year, that’s all I’ve wanted to do was just to pursue that and go D-I for running,” she said.

Though she has the remainder of the MIL cross country season and 2022 track season left to enjoy her Spartans squad, Volner said, “I’m definitely going to miss this team.”

“At first I didn’t know what to expect because they’re pretty much all freshmen, some sophomores and juniors, but I got really close with this team and I’m really going to miss just all our long runs and workouts together,” she said. “I know they’re going to do amazing. I’m going to miss coach Bobby (Grossman), too.”

The Broncos currently have a roster of 30 women and “I’m looking forward to just building a bond with all of them,” Volner added.

Volner traveled to California earlier this month to check out the campus and meet the team.

“For me, I wanted to be on a team that was very close and very tight knit, so when I got to visit the girls there, they were all so close and so welcoming to me that I just had a really good feeling about their team and that they always pushed each other and worked really hard,” she said. “And I really liked (head coach Felipe Montoro) — he was really helpful in making my decision and showing me everything great about Santa Clara and that I can have a really good academic career as well as an athletic career.”

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