Leighton signs with Indiana Tech.
MENDON — Mendon High School senior athletic standout Mary Leighton has signed a national letter of intent to continue her track and field and academic career at Indiana Tech. University.
Leighton officially signed a scholarship on Friday with the Division 2 school located in Fort Wayne, Ind.
“Indiana Tech. has a really good engineering program. I visited and it is a real beautiful campus. I met the coach and I liked his coaching style instantly and I also met the team and liked them,” Leighton said.
Leighton likes the engineering field because there are so many different career opportunities.
In indoor track and field, Leighton will concentrate on the 60-meter hurdles and the 1600-meter, 100-meter and maybe 400-meter hurdles for outdoor track.
“I really enjoyed my time here at Mendon. Jenna Gales and Emma Eberstein, former teammates, really helped me decide that I wanted to run in college,” Leighton said.
“I’ve made memories here, but there are a lot more to be made. We’re just a really strong and competitive town and that has really prepared me for the next level.”
Leighton is the last of three Leighton sisters to compete at Mendon. Her older sisters Caitlin and Grace were standout hurdlers, basketball players and cross country runners to perform for the Lady Hornets.
At the state meet her junior year, Mary won a Division 4 state title in the 100-meter hurdles with a state record time of 14.93. Her time broke the previous state record of 15.05 held by Michelle Davis of Reading since 2014. It also broke Mendon’s school record previously held by her older sister Caitlin.
Leighton also finished fourth in the state in the 300 low hurdles (47.87) and she was part of Mendon’s second-place 800-relay team that also included Kaley Smith, Eberstein and Gales.
“Mary is a great kid with an awesome work ethic both on and off the track. Her academics are excellent, she is a great athlete and a very determined person. I think she will excel at the next level. I lot of the credit has to go to her mother (Sharon) for the work she has put in with her over the years. I was just fortunate the last three years to be along for the ride,” said Mendon girls’ track and field coach Bobby Kretschman. “I’m looking forward to seeing her grow her senior year. She is very goal-oriented.”
Leighton is a four-year letterwinner for Mendon in basketball and has been the Lady Hornets’ leading scorer this season.
Leighton is a four-time state qualifier in cross country.
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.