PORT ANGELES — The University of Redlands is getting one of Port Angeles’ finest.
Roughriders senior Katelyn Sheldon, a high-ranking academic achiever and the Associated Student Council president at Peninsula College, signed a letter of intent to throw for the University of Redlands track and field squad Wednesday.
Sheldon plans to throw the hammer and discus for the Bulldogs and said she was surprised when Redlands coaches reached out.
“I wanted to go down to California [for college],” Sheldon said. “When their track coach reached out to me, I was pretty shocked that I even got considered to be part of their track team. I did some research, looked into the college and its values and the community that it is in. The coaches are focused on making it about team bonding rather than just caring about scores, which I like.”
Sheldon will be able to pursue studies in pre-med as she focuses on a career as an orthopedic surgeon.
“I didn’t originally intend on continuing in sports because my academic career is very important,” Sheldon said. “When I looked at Redlands, I asked the coach how would I be able to balance those two paths. He made it really clear that we work together as a team to improve, but the academics always come first.”
Sheldon was showered with praise by track and field coach Rodger Johnson and her girls soccer coach Scott Moseley at the signing event.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with Katelyn since middle school in track and field and help show her some of the basics,” Johnson said. “And then she took it and ran with it, and it’s been great to watch her grow in athletics over the years here at Port Angeles High School. Everybody in the track program is excited for her to go on and do things that she loves.”
Sheldon is a goalkeeper on the girls soccer team, and Moseley has coached her for all four high school seasons.
“One of the things I want to focus on is Katelyn’s character,” Moseley said. “When [college] soccer coaches call me about a player, the first thing they ask is what their character is like. … The coaches obviously know your skills in terms of throwing, but the main concern for these coaches is how are they in the locker room, how do they interact with others.
“And this is one way where Katelyn stands out, her character is top notch. I’ve seen it on the soccer field, interacting with her teammates, coaches and friends.”
Moseley, who teaches history and civics classes at Port Angeles, also had Sheldon in his classroom.
“One of the pleasures as a teacher is I get to see her as a student. She’s a great student; she got the class, and we had lots of fun. I’ve seen it in leadership. She’s a high school student, but she’s the president of the local community college. I clicked on my Instagram account this fall and from Peninsula College’s feed there’s Katelyn, the president. That’s pretty unusual and speaks to your leadership, character and who you are.
“I would say that Port Angeles High School and Peninsula College are better places because Katelyn has been here and been there, and University of Redlands will be a better place because you will be involved with their academics and their track and field program. Nice job parents; she is an amazing young woman.”
Sheldon also thanked those parents, Melissa and Jeremy, for their unwavering support.
“They support me in whatever I want to do, and that’s been really important,” Sheldon said. “They’ve pushed me to do better in all aspects of my life.”
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected] news.com.