Girls Track & Field
Columbus North senior Adrienne Salemme has committed to Samford University to continue her academic and athletic career in track and field.
Salemme tied for 13th place in the pole vault by clearing 11 feet, 3 inches in the 2019 IHSAA girls track State Finals. That was after she placed second in the Shelbyville Regional at 11-6 and finished second in the Franklin Sectional at 11-6. Earlier, Salemme was the Conference Indiana champion at 11-3.
In two indoor meets this season, Salemme – who plans to major in health sciences with a desire for a career as a physcian’s assistant – had winning vaults of 10-6 and 11-0.
Samford is an NCAA Division I program located in Birmingham, Ala. The Bulldogs, coached by Rod Tiffin, compete in the Southern Conference and recently won the championships of the 2020 SoCon men’s and women’s indoor track meets.
“I was looking for a school that had a good academic program and a good track and field program,” Salemme told The Republic. “So I went down for a visit to tour the academic side of it. Then I went down for (an athletic) recruiting visit and decided it was the place for me.”
“This is a great choice for Adrienne,” Columbus North girls track coach Rick Sluder said. “Samford is a dominant team in the Southern Conference, and coach Tiffin has done amazing things with his pole vault group. This sets Adrienne up for great success in the future.”
Sluder noted that Salemme has overcome some recent challenges, most notably the death of CNHS pole vault coach Dale Stelting on Dec. 6 as well as the suspended season that spring sport athletes now face because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through this all, Adrienne has persevered and worked hard to achieve her goals,” Sluder said. “She was ranked fourth in the state for pole vault and on pace for an unofficial all-state performance for the Hoosier State Relays when the season was suspended. If we are able to resume our season, Adrienne can be a top-nine performer at the state meet. Her working ethic and talent both give her that opportunity.”
Salemme said the current shutdown has been difficult.
“I was really looking forward to indoor state,” she told the newspaper. “I had been making a lot of progress. I’m hoping to go back to school in May and get an outdoor season in. That would be great.”
Salemme is the 13th Columbus North athlete in the class of 2020 to make a commitment for college athletics. Ten CNHS athletes have taken part in college-bound student-athlete ceremonies earlier in the school year. Salemme, softball player Brooke Bruin (headed to DePauw University) and basketball player Nicholas Schiavello (bound for Wheaton College) are expected to take part in another college-bound student-athlete ceremony sometime this spring.
COLUMBUS NORTH CLASS OF 2020
Student, Sport, College Choice
* Brooke Bruin, softball, DePauw University
^ Casper Clark, baseball, Indiana University
# Mitchel Collier, football, Central Michigan
^ Caroline Hollenkamp, women’s soccer, Brandeis University (Mass.)
^ Betsy King, women’s swimming, Ball State
^ Olivia Morlok, women’s swimming, Ohio University
^ Sierra Norman, softball, Marian University
^ Lauren Opalka, volleyball, Muskingum University (Ohio)
# Landon Robbins, football, Valparaiso University
* Adrienne Salemme, women’s track & field, Samford University (Ala.)
^ Erica Samuel, women’s swimming, Indiana Wesleyan
* Nicholas Schiavello, men’s basketball, Wheaton College
^ Grant Trinkle, baseball, University of Kentucky
^ took part in ceremony on Nov. 13, 2019
# took part in ceremony on Dec. 18, 2019
* taking part in a later ceremony; date TBA
PHOTO: Adrienne Salemme smiles after landing in the pit following a cleared attempt in the 2019 Franklin Sectional. Salemme placed second in the sectional with a best of 11 feet, 6 inches.