From track/cross country to baseball to soccer, four Redmond High athletes recently signed on to continue their athletic careers on the college scene.
Lance Mason and George Cretu will run at Seattle University and University of California at Santa Barbara, respectively, Spencer Uyematsu will hit the diamond at Pomona Pitzer in California and Rachel Birney will get in on the soccer action at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Seattle U and UCSB are Division I programs and Pomona and Wesleyan are Division III programs.
The Reporter asked the Mustangs a few questions via email about their past, present and future:
Why did you choose your college, what stands out about the school and team (coaches, teammates, program)? What do you hope to major in?
Mason: The reason why I chose Seattle University was because of its academic excellence, the size, location within Washington and the quality of its athletic program. But the most important thing is my belief and trust in the head coach Kelly Sullivan. I believe that he can take me to the next level and beyond. Also, the great future teammates that I met on my official visit.
Cretu: The thing that stands out most about UCSB is the team. Visiting the team and school was an amazing experience and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to join the distance team at UCSB. (He will major in economics/accounting.)
Uyematsu: In the fall, I had the chance to spend the weekend at Pomona College and hang out with the players on the Pomona-Pitzer baseball team. The culture and atmosphere of the small-school environment drew me in. It seems like it will be a place where I will be supported as a baseball player and a student. I wanted a place where I could get an amazing education and continue to play highly competitive baseball. I am planning on majoring in molecular biology.
Birney: I chose my college because of its high academic standing and the way students there genuinely care about making the world a better place. The team stood out to me because of their great work ethic and compatibility, as well as the coaching methods. I hope to double major with Spanish, and something in math or science.
What is a personal highlight for you in RHS sports?
Mason: Competing in the state cross country championship for three straight years. Also, being named on the All-Kingco team.
Cretu: KingCo champ sophomore year 1,600m and 3,200m, and my sophomore season in general was amazing. I’ve met some amazing people, from coaches to teammates to people who have all helped me have the opportunity to run at a collegiate level. Overall, many great memories and met many amazing people who I’m extremely thankful for.
Uyematsu: I have been playing with many of my teammates since I was a little kid. Having the opportunity to continue playing with a fantastic group has been the highlight of my high school experience.
Birney: My personal highlight would be scoring my first free kick goal against Bellevue my sophomore year.
What did you learn from your time at RHS (school and sports) that you’ll carry with you to college?
Mason: I learned that if you put in the work, whether it be academics or athletics, then the results will come.
Cretu: Distance running has taught me many lessons over the years but the most valuable have been the power of hard work and how your mind and attitude can affect how well you do in something. These among many others will help me be successful in college.
Uyematsu: At RHS, I have been fortunate to have some great coaches and teachers who have been very supportive. I have learned to be focused, competitive, and disciplined. These are all characteristics I know will serve me well in college.
Birney: I learned how to work together with my peers instead of against them, so everyone can benefit and improve. We live in such a competitive environment, both in soccer and in school, that it’s hard sometimes.