Lady Hornet signs to run

Bryant Hornets senior and cross country runner Stacy Emmerling signed a letter of intent to run for the Henderson State Lady Reddies (Arkadelphia) on Thursday in Bryant Gym. Emmerling joins teammate Ashlyn Lessenberry, who signed with the Lady Reddies earlier this month.

“I visited there and they just seemed like a big happy family,” Emmerling said of Henderson State. “[The Lady Reddies] all connected with me and talked to me. They introduced me to all of their friends and made it comfortable for me.”

Emmerling said she has been running since the eighth grade and that she also looked at Southern Arkansas University, but she didn’t connect with the Lady Muleriders as much.

A four-year letterman, Emmerling was named All-State twice and named 7A Central All-Conference a total of 10 times in track and cross country.

Emmerling was also an integral part of three conference championship teams and part of the 2009 and 2010 7A Central cross country champions, and the 2010 Central track & field champions, according to Coach Danny Westbrook.

“Stacy joins a long line of outstanding distance runners that have gained college scholarships through our program,” Westbrook said.

“Her dedication, hard work and commitment have made her a very successful high school athlete. Those attributes also have provided her this opportunity to continue competing along with pursuing a college degree.”

“I tried other sports and wasn’t good at them,” Emmerling said.
“I tried running and I wasn’t bad at it, so I just kept on doing it.”

Emmerling will just be running cross country at Henderson State, a Great American Conference NCAA Division II school, because the university doesn’t have a track & field team. She also plans to major in education and teach elementary school.

Her father, Mark Emmerling, said his daughter looked at five schools across the state and some out-of-state, but he was happy with her decision to run for the Lady Reddies.

“She made a decision to make Henderson her home,” Mark Emmerling said. “I kind of like it as a dad because it’s close by. They’ve got a good continuing education program. Henderson is going to be good for her, and she’s going to be good for Henderson. I think it’s a good fit.

“Coach Westbrook did a lot of work for her. He made her compete and she’s going to continue her running career, and because of Coach Westbrook, she’s going to get some money for it.”