Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Bloomfield track/cross country standout Julie Riggins will be joining the developing IUPUI program next fall as one of six incoming recruits.
Riggins lettered in cross country, track and basketball at Bloomfield.
“Julie’s just a great person. She’s a really sweet girl and comes from a great family,” coach Antonio McDaniel said. “She does a lot of things outside of running that makes her very well rounded, which is something we look for when we’re recruiting girls. She has a 4.6 GPA, she plays the piano, she’s very active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is going to be her class valedictorian.”
In cross country, Riggins is a four-time Team MVP and qualified for semistate both as a freshman and senior. She holds the Bloomfield 5K school record with a time of 19:24 at the Martinsville Artesian Classic on Sept. 4, 2010. She was a three-time SWIAC Champion her final three years after having earned Freshman SWIAC Champion honors in 2008.
She was a four-time Greene County and Bloomfield Invitational Champion, while earning Bloomington Herald-Times All-Area accolades all four years.
On the track, she’s a three-time All-SWIAC performer and qualified for the IHSAA State Meet as a sophomore in the 800-meter run. She’s a three-time Greene County Invitational Champion and holds the Bloomfield school records in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 3,200 relay. She ran 2:23.37 in the 800 as a sophomore, while also running 12:06.15 in the 3,200 that year. She set the 1,600 record of 5:30.25 her junior year.
“She’s a real smooth runner,” McDaniel said. “She’s run 61 [seconds] in the 400, so she has some quickness. She hasn’t done a whole lot of mileage in training, so she’s only going to get better as she builds her endurance. I really like those diamonds in the rough who have some room for improvement and who have the potential to become really good college runners.
“I see her as a 3K, 5K, 1,500 type, but she also has the potential to be really good in the steeplechase.”
She intends to study in the medical field at IUPUI.
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n Other signings — There seems to be a larger-than-normal number of signings this spring from throughout the Wabash Valley, which is a wonderful thing, and they will be included in this column throughout the summer months.
A composite list of those known signings will be sent out this week to athletic directors and coaches at area high schools for additions or corrections. E-mails will also be sent this week to the college and high school coaches seeking comments and statistics for the athletes who have signed or committed, and Facebook messages will be sent to all athletes who use that social media site to get comments from them.
If you are not contacted and want your information included, please use the e-mail address at the end of the column to get in touch.
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n Trio of departures moving on — Move-ins and move-aways are a part of life in high school sports, and three boys basketball players with Terre Haute ties but who played elsewhere are moving on at the college level.
Dillon Bender, son of former Indiana State men’s assistant Dick Bender, was a two-year all-state performer for Walhalla (S.C.) and will play collegiately at Anderson University, a Division II school in South Carolina.
“Seldom do you watch a guy that brings it every day. That is Dillon,” Razorbacks Coach Hal Dunlap said.
Bender moved to Walhalla when his father, now the director of men’s basketball operations at Clemson, was hired to be a part of Tigers Coach Brad Brownell’s staff in 2010.
The two-time Independent Mail all-area selection averaged 23 points and drained a school-record 97 three-pointers during his senior season. During that stretch, Bender scored 20 points in 17 of the Razorbacks’ 24 games and over 30 six times.
He previously lived in Louisiana while his father was an assistant at Tulane.
Connor Coleman, son of former Terre Haute resident Todd Coleman, will be a preferred walk-on at Division I Jacksonville this fall after a standout career at Waverly-Shell Rock High School in Iowa.
The All-State point guard averaged 13.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals last year. He will be majoring in Music Business.
This spring he played in the second annual Elite USA Eastern Iowa All-Star game.
Noah Stewart, who played last year at Olney Central College, will continue his career at the University of Mary — a Division II school in North Dakota. He will have two years of eligibility after playing one year at Southeastern Illinois.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at