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Hillcrest’s Wernette signs with College of Idaho track

Devin Wernette, center, receives applause from his parents after signing his national letter of intent with the College of Idaho’s track program Thursday at Hillcrest High School. Marlowe Hereford / mhereford@postregister.com

By MARLOWE HEREFORD
mhereford@postregister.com

Hillcrest High School’s Devin Wernette will be trading in red and black for purple and white next school year.

Before classmates, coaches, family members, teammates and administrators, the senior multisport athlete signed his national letter of intent with the College of Idaho’s track program Thursday afternoon in Hillcrest’s conference room.

Wernette has played football since age 5 and has competed in track since seventh grade and experienced success in both throughout his high school career. He drew interest in both sports — Portland State recruited him for track, Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., recruited him in football and the College of Idaho extended offers in both sports a month apart last fall.

Speaking with C of I football and track athletes who are students in his chosen major (biomedicine) and weighing his offers in each sport ultimately swayed his decision.

“Ever since I was little, I always saw myself going to play college football, but as I got older, I figured out I’d have better opportunities in track,” Wernette said. “They offered me more money for track. I decided I wanted to be able to focus on schooling and one sport.”

Wernette said he will compete in the 100 and 200 meters for the Yotes with possible additional events. He has competed in the 100, 200 and 4×100 and 4×200-meter relays for the Knights.

“They also compete against DI schools, not just other NAIAs,” Wernette said. “I’m really excited to test my abilities.”

Wernette contributed to back to back 5A District 5-6 championships in the 4×100 and the 5A state gold last year in that event as well as school records in both the 4×100 and 4×200. He counted those experiences among the highlights of his Hillcrest career and he expressed gratitude for his coaches and predecessors such as 2016 graduates Bridger Blakeslee and Porter Empey.

“I’m blessed to have been a part of it,” Wernette said. “It’s changed my life, for sure.”

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