HAVRE -- Montana State-Northern has added three student-athletes from the Hi-Line to its cross country, volleyball and golf programs.
Brooke Holland and Jaden Koon, both seniors from Sunburst, have signed letters of intent to join the cross country teams at MSU-Northern in the fall of 2021, while Shelby's Maddison Underdal will join the Skylights' volleyball and golf programs.
In addition to cross country, Holland has competed in basketball and track throughout her high school career. In cross country, she has posted competitive times since her freshman year -- times she's achieved while being a team of one throughout high school. According to her high cchool coach, Jeff Nix, racing and training by herself has been challenging for Holland, and he thinks she will continue to develop within a larger team environment.
"Based on my communication with Brooke, Coach Nix, and friends of Brooke's family, I really expect Brooke to train and compete very well at the college level," said MSUN cross country coach Chad Spangler. "Everything I've learned about this young woman suggests her attitude and drive will make her successful in athletics and academics."
"I am ready to put the effort into both," Holland said.
Like Holland, Koon has been the sole runner for the boys cross country team at Sunburst throughout his high school career. He also played football during his cross country seasons.
"What I really love about Jaden is that he has posted some decent times even though he hasn't yet focused entirely on cross country," said Spangler. "Coach Nix has done a great job training Jaden around football practices and games, but I'm really excited to see what we can do with more consistent training. ... I think Jaden is a great fit for Northern cross country based on my interactions with him and based on my observations of him with the team. I have no doubt he's going to fit in and train hard."
"Jaden is an incredibly dedicated young man who is always looking to improve," Nix said. "He is the type of runner that doesn't blink when asked to run in the snow, rain, wind, morning or at night. No matter the Montana weather condition, like Forest Gump, he will keep running until you tell him to stop."
Underdal, 5-foot-10 middle blocker on the volleyball court, had career-highs of 305 season hits, 81 season blocks, 38% hitting and 89% serving for the Coyotes. She has earned all-conference and all-state recognition during her career in both volleyball and basketball.
"I'm very happy that Maddison has chosen to join the MSU-Northern Skylights volleyball program," said MSUN coach Jerry Wanger. "I really enjoy the recruiting process when a talented student-athlete like Maddison finds that her best academic and athletic career choice is right here at MSU-Northern. She realized that Northern places an emphasis on family, academics and athletics, and they have the greatest fan support in the Frontier Conference."
"Maddison is a powerful athlete who will compete as a middle blocker, and she will join and grow alongside a strong core group of middles already in the program," Wagner added. "Maddison has an aunt who played basketball for the Skylights, Jena (Heggem) Hanson, and her current volleyball coach played volleyball for the Skylights, Lexy (Ranes) Fisher. Coming from Shelby she will continue to be able to wear the maroon and gold."
"I chose MSUN because of the volleyball program, and the town is close to my family," Underdal said. "I love the coaching staff and even though I haven't been able to meet the team I'm certain I will feel like I'm part of a family. I'm also very excited to be part of the nursing program at Northern."