Wyalusing's Huffman signs with Shippensburg
WYALUSING - As Erika Huffman signed her letter of intent to run track and field and cross country at Shippensburg University, the t-shirt on the table said it all.
The saying 'Ship is it' really was how Huffman felt when she went down to visit the school.
"I went down there a couple of times for states and (Erika's sister) Kacey went there. As soon as I got on campus I knew I could see myself there in the future.
"I knew it was Ship when I went down to camp there in the summer and I got along with all the girls and coach Spence was great. I just believed it was the place for me."
There were a few other schools in the PSAC - Mansfield, Slippery Rock and IUP - that Huffman was considering, but she just always felt like there was something special about Shippensburg.
"The other reason I picked Ship is it's not too far away, but not a lot of people from here go there so I can meet a lot of new people," Huffman said.
One other person from the NTL who will be going there next year is Troy's Casey Norton.
Huffman and Norton were the two top runners in the district in Class AA this year, finishing 1-2 at the district meet.
While it will be new to run with Norton instead of against her, it's something that Huffman is really looking forward to.
"It's really exciting," Huffman said. "I think it will be different, we have been rivals, but it will be fun. I think the way we compete will push both of us to do better. And, it's nice to have someone on the team from where you are from that knows what it's like."
Academics also played a role and Huffman wants to eventually get into exercise science, and Shippensburg fit for her academic plans.
Making the choice allows Huffman to enjoy the rest of her senior year without worrying about the decision.
"It is one thing more I can mark off my list," she said. "I don't have to stress about it."
Now, Huffman can enjoy her last track season and then get ready to compete in college.
"I'm really excited," Huffman said. "I can't wait for my last high school track season to start and then I'm really excited for next year."
While Huffman hasn't been told exactly what events she will run in college track, she expects it to be similar to high school.
"They haven't told me anything, but I know I will stay mid distance," Huffman said.
Huffman knows that going from being one of the best in the state in high school, to a college freshman will be a change, but she's ready.
"I think it will definitely push me," she said. "It will push me harder so I can get faster. I think it will make me work to get faster."