West Liberty-Salem's  Katelyn Stapleton signed her national letter of intent to continue her academic and running career at Southern Illinois University.  Stapleton will participate in cross country and track and field for the Salukis.

Stapleton has built an impressive resume at WL-S.  In cross country, she is a four time state qualifier, and earned All-Ohio her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.  During this time, the Big Orange had four top ten team finishes, including runner-up in 2019, and the team's first state title in 2020.  Stapleton also earned OHC, District and Regional First Team Honors four consecutive years, along with Academic All-Ohio her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.  Stapleton is a two time state qualifier in indoor track and field, earning All-Ohio honors in the 4x800 relay and 800 meter run her junior year.  In outdoor track and field, she is a two time state qualifier, and a member of the Tigers' state championship team in 2019.  At the 2019 state meet, she was a state qualifier in the three events, including the DIII state champion 4x800 relay team and state runner-up 4x400 relay team.  She also received Academic All-Ohio honors in track and field her sophomore season.

"I chose SIU because I felt the best connection with the coach and the team.  Coach Cataldo was very invested in me, and showed a lot of interest in helping me grow as a student athlete," said Stapleton, who plans on majoring in exercise science.  "SIU also 
has several academic opportunities for my major that will be able to help guide me in the future."

"I'm excited that Katelyn has found a school that fits for her both academically and athletically, and where she can continue grow as a student athlete," said WL-S Head Girls Cross Country and Track and Field Coach, Ann Vogel.  Katelyn is self-motivated, hard working and persistent, so I'm confident she's up to the challenges that the transition from high school to collegiate running will give her."

Photo credit:  John Coffman
Front row L to R:  Rex Stapleton (father), Katelyn Stapleton, Karen Stapleton (mother).
Back row L to R:  Adam Stapleton (brother), WL-S Head Coach Girls XC/TF Ann Vogel, WL-S Head Coach Boys XC, Mike Louden, WL-S MS XC  Coach Aaron Lauck