Ben Vernon of Shelley High School signing letter of intent to CSI

Ben Vernon of Shelley High School, surrounded by parents and coaches, signs his letter of intent to attend College of Southern Idaho.

SHELLEY – It was an eventful day that will be a memory for the rest of his life for Shelley High School senior and cross country runner Ben Vernon, who signed a letter of intent to attend the College of Southern Idaho.

Vernon, who has been competing in cross country and track since he was a freshman at Shelley, accepted the offer of a preferred walk on, meaning he will have to wait for a scholarship to become available in order to become a scholarship athlete at the school.

In the meantime, the near 4.0 student will be using his academic scholarships to attend the school.

“This is a dream come true for me,” Vernon said. “I have always wanted to find out if I had what it takes to be a collegiate runner and now I will be able to find out.”

Vernon has designs on taking classes that will allow him to purse a degree that will lead to him becoming a physical therapist, but he is also balancing things just in case it doesn’t totally work out for him and back that up with a minor in business.

“I want to have a business background for a couple of reasons,” Vernon said. “If I can make it through and become a physical therapist, the business minor will allow me to run my own shop and if the physical therapist thing doesn’t pan out, then I can always go into business in another field.”

Sounds like a 4.0 student with a plan in place for the future.

Vernon also plans to continue his running for the remainder of the year at Shelley, participating in primarily the distance events, but hasn’t ruled out anything at this point.

“Part of what we have talked about at CSI is that I complete my eligibility here and then make the move to Twin Falls,” Vernon said. “They want me on campus sometime in the middle of August and they have already sent me some workouts to be doing until then. I am really excited for this opportunity and what it could bring to my life.”

The College of Southern Idaho has taken a number of runners from Shelley High School, including the top runner from a year ago in Johnathon Frew and Amy White from the year before that and has done well with those athletes and getting them in contact with Division I schools when they complete their eligibility at CSI.

“I really like that fact that they work with you and have a lot of hands-on contact when it involves pushing you to make it to a Division I program,” Vernon said. “That is the ultimate goal and with the help of the coaches at CSI, I am sure that I will make it to the next level.”

From what his current coaches have to say about Vernon, it is a slam dunk opportunity. Comments were made about Ben’s ability and work ethic: “Ben is always looking ahead in his running and wants to do the best thing for tomorrow, not just for today.” “Ben has always been the kind of runner that is working just as hard in the off season as he does during the actual season.” “Ben helps out everyone he works and runs with and that makes the whole program better and stronger.”

With those kinds of attributes, it is no wonder that CSI is anxious to be getting this kind of an athlete into their program. He is very highly thought of and will be a huge attribute to the CSI campus and program.