Utah State University’s cross-country and track programs are gaining their fourth Shelley High School athlete in three years.
Karlie Callahan is the latest eastern Idaho athlete to join the Aggies upon signing and mailing her letter of intent last week from home. She will commemorate the occasion at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday—National Signing Day—at Shelley High School.
Idaho State had expressed interest in her, and she was considering Dixie State due to a cousin competing there. Utah State offers her field of study—landscape architecture—and ultimately allowed her to fulfill the ambition she set back in sixth grade of becoming a college runner.
“Utah State is my dream school,” Callahan said Friday by phone. “When I had the opportunity to do the thing that I loved there, it drew me there even more.”
The senior made her recruiting trip to Logan in October, touring the campus and athletic facilities and later watching the Utah State at BYU football game on television with Utah State cross-country and track athletes. The Aggies include several eastern Idahoans: 2018 Sugar-Salem graduate Brennan Anderson, 2017 Bonneville graduate Coen Haroldsen, 2013 Snake River graduate James Withers, 2014 Highland graduate Presli Hutchison, 2012 West Jefferson graduate Tylee Newman-Skinner and multiple school record holder and All-American 2013 Soda Springs graduate Cierra Simmons-Mecham.
Callahan will also reunite with former teammates in Logan: 2016 Shelley graduates Mark Crandall and LeAnn Larkin, who return this year from missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and 2017 Shelley graduate Paytin Drollinger, who is currently on her mission.
“I know when Paytin was down there she loved it,” Callahan said. “She loved the atmosphere. LeAnn did too. It’s a great school.”
Callahan medaled at the state cross-country championships her sophomore, junior and senior seasons, including becoming Shelley’s fourth consecutive 3A girls individual state champion in 2017. She has medaled at state track four times and also contributed to two team 3A state championships for Shelley: girls cross-country (2016) and girls track (2018).
She dealt with bouts of injury during the 2015 cross-country season and had surgery in summer 2017 to repair a torn meniscus. All the while, Callahan said her goal of becoming a college athlete never wavered, and she aspires to run personal records in all her events in her final high school outdoor track season.
“When I came across an injury or a setback, I knew I’d be able to work through and overcome that and still be able to reach my goals,” Callahan said.