Three COS Track Stars Sign Letters of Intent


Photo credit: Adrian Luevano

Adrian Luevano

Family and Friends crowded into the Porter Field House lobby to see three COS track athletes sign their National Letters of Intent.

200m and 400m state champion Deajah Stevens signed to the University of Oregon

Stevens said, “I really loved Oregon as soon as I went there on my visit. I felt like I belong there.”

Stevens was a highly recruited athlete out of Benjamin Cardozo High School in New York City. She originally committed to the University of South Carolina before a falling out. After not running a year she came to COS with injuries and out of running shape. Dennis Goebel along with his sports medicine team got her situated to compete back and compete at the high level Stevens was accustomed to.

“COS taught me how to prepare and act serious” said Stevens, “I had a coach I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve been running since I was 12 and Coach Allen is probably the best coach I’ve ever had. He teaches you a lot and any runner would be glad to have him”

Stevens was the highest recruited junior college track athlete in the nation. She had offers from South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky, Southern California and Oregon.

The way Stevens is running, her times could land her a spot in the Olympics. She won the 200m state championships with a time of 23.1 seconds and the 400m at 53.1 seconds

Stevens will have the opportunity to run three full seasons for the Ducks starting this January since she graduated from College of the Sequoias in three semesters.

Shain Hale signed with Division II Notre Dame of Ohio. The 100m and 400m hurdler had partial scholarship offers from Cal State Northridge as well as Arizona State. Notre Dame of Ohio’s 100% offer was just too good to pass up.

“I felt comfortable going out there. I know a few guys that go to school there and it is a great place to go,” said Hale. “Coach Allen’s training is great. He took me from a okay athlete to a great athlete”

After transferring from Pasadena City College, the Sequoias hurdler placed 5th in the state meet.

400m runner Herbie Polk signed with Arizona State University.

University of Texas and University of Kentucky were in the running for Polk to attend, but the weather and ability to train year round attracted Polk to Arizona State.

Polk ran the 400m in 47 seconds for Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa. It was the fastest time to come out of Sonoma County in twenty years. Polk was the third fastest runner in state during high school. In his heat he got past and was eliminated by one one-hundredth of a second. He went to an upstart track program at Santa Rosa Junior College. Problems with the Bear Cubs new coach David Wellman forced Polk out.

Polk’s Dad told his son if he could choose anywhere to go compete what schools would it be? Polk said American River or College of the Sequoias.

After a visit to American River, Polk’s family was convinced that was the place for him due to the close proximity of home. Polk then took his visit to Sequoias and knew that was the place for him. After convincing his family that his move to Visalia would be beneficial, Polk dominated.

In the third meet of the season, Polk ran the 400m race in 47.9 seconds. However, in the middle of the season he got bronchitis and did not get to come back until championship season. By then it was too late to run in anything competitive to show division 1 schools his potential. Polk’s times in college were good, but his times from high school helped him out the most. COS head track coach Curtis Allen got the word out and got Polk the offer to ASU.

“He was running so well that I called some schools. Purdue, Minnesota and other schools offered him. He’s a west coast kid and I think Arizona State is a great opportunity for him” said Allen.

“I owe it all to Coach Allen” said Polk, “He was a big voice for me and helped me grow. We have a lot of student success programs that help you out and make sure you’re getting your work done. COS is a great building and stepping stone for athletes trying to get to the Division 1 level.”

COS Athletic Director Brent Davis said, “Seeing three of our athletes go out on Division 1 scholarships is phenomenal. This is why we do it. It keeps you motivated to work harder. Coach Allen is naturally going to attract high-level athletes. Allen and his staff show why our Track and Field program is on the rise.”

“I’m very proud of these athletes. They worked to get to their goals,” said Allen, “Hard work in academics and on the track goes a long way. Here at COS we try to build five star individuals. When you have five star people, you have the potential to be a five star athlete.”