Beavercreek speedy senior commits to NCAA women’s power Arkansas

Taylor Ewert, the super Beavercreek High School senior runner, has been under the racing radar this fall. The returning ace of an outstanding team that won a Division I girls state cross country championship last year, Ewert instead opted to spend most of this fall training and figuring out where to take her next-level talent.

“Realistically, you need to go to a program what you know if you want to be serious, like going professional after college or pursuing world and Olympic goals, you need to go to a program that will help develop you and help you get to that next step,” she said. “It really is a dream come true.”

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Ewert has verbally committed to the University of Arkansas, an NCAA men’s and women’s track and field power that has produced scores of All-Americans and foreign-signed standouts. A member of the Southeastern Conference and anchored in Fayetteville, Ark., the Razorbacks’ women’s track team has won four combined indoor and outdoor NCAA Division I team championships since 2015, including a sweep of both this year.

She chose Arkansas over New Mexico.

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Ewert raced for the Beavers for only the second time this season last weekend, winning the 3.1-mile Nike Valley Twilight cross country invitational at Indiana State in Terre Haute in 17:11.70. She was followed by teammates Savannah Roark in second (17:49.60), Jodie Pierce in third (18:07.90) and Juliann Williams in sixth (18:27.50).

Those are state championship-caliber times. Beavercreek has been ranked No. 1 in the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches the entire season. Ewert (17:38.7) will be a heavy favorite to repeat as the individual D-I state champion. She also won the 3,200 meters in the D-I state track and field meet last June.

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Beavercreek will be favored in the Greater Western Ohio Conference meet at Northmont on Saturday. After that, it’s the district, regional and state meets.

“Everything is coming together this year,” she said. “We have a lot of senior leadership in that top seven group. We want to focus on enjoying our senior year and enjoying the process and having fun with it. Whatever happens, we want to be able to look back and know we had a good time.”

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Ewert has the perfect lean build for covering long distances. At 5 feet 10 inches, she’s a long strider equipped with sprinter speed. No wonder, both her parents were runners at Syracuse. Older brother Ben Ewert runs at Louisville.

Ewert also is a multi-national race-walk age-group champion. She’s raced in many invite-only events over the last two years.

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“After my visit to Arkansas I knew it was the perfect fit,” she said. “The program is going to allow me to get to the next step where I can to get. They’re also willing to continue to work with me and my race-walking. There’s a lot of history to the program, which is important. You want to go to a program that has succeeded and you know their training works. I was able to check all those things off my list.”

Signing day for all sports but football is Nov. 13.

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