Harper signs with Spring Arbor

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

Back row left to right Lisa Harper (mother), Scott Harper (father), Jasmine Harper (sister), Jonathan Harper (brother) and Clare coach Kyle McKown. Front row: Victoria Harper and Spring Arbor University coach Bill Bippes.

Back row left to right Lisa Harper (mother), Scott Harper (father), Jasmine Harper (sister), Jonathan Harper (brother) and Clare coach Kyle McKown.
Front row: Victoria Harper and Spring Arbor University coach Bill Bippes.

After four years of dominating the high school stage, Clare senior Victoria Harper turns her attention to the collegiate stage. Harper, who has been a key piece of the Lady Pioneer cross country and track teams in recent years signed a letter of intent Friday, to compete at Spring Arbor University in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.

“I chose Spring Arbor because it offers a balance to what I’m looking for in my college career,” Harper, who plans to study in the health field said. “I wanted to go to a Christian college in Michigan that still encourages a strong faith in God. When I met (Spring Arbor cross country and track coach Bill) Bippes I felt at home.”

Bippes believes Harper will continue to be a standout at the next level.

“We’re excited to have her in the program,” he said. “I just see so much leadership and sacrifice with her, she’s team oriented first. I honestly believe in the next couple of years she will blossom into one of the top small school runners in the state of Michigan, if not the nation.”

Clare girls’ cross country coach Kyle McKown has seen Harper do it all in her prep career at Clare. She has multiple state finals appearances, has one of the fastest times in school history, was Jack Pine Conference MVP as a junior and has a slew of other awards.

“We are excited that Victoria will have the opportunity to continue her education and running career at Spring Arbor next fall,” McKown said. “It is a well respected institution that will allow her to earn her degree and enjoy large amounts of success.

“She has had an outstanding high school career but with her work ethic, I honestly believe that she will be able to enjoy her fastest races at Spring Arbor the next few years,” McKown added. “She will continue to improve and will be someone to watch over the next few seasons.”

Even though Harper knows where she’s attending college, the senior is still looking forward to the rest of her days in high school.

“I am very relieved to have signed with Spring Arbor this early,” she said. “Now I can enjoy the rest of my senior year. I am so thankful for the support of the Clare community through the years.”

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