For some area athletes, the end of high school does not signal the end of a competitive sports career. Many area athletes have earned accolades while competing for college sports. 

Here are some of the highlights.


Two area graduates, Cullen VanLeer (Pacific) and Ronnie Suggs (Washington) are on the Mizzou men’s basketball roster.

VanLeer, a junior, has started three of 21 games so far this season and averages 2.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. He has recorded 18 assists and eight steals.

Suggs, a junior, transferred to Mizzou this season from Bradley University. After graduation, he attended Vermont Academy for a year.

Suggs initially committed to the Tigers as a high school senior, but changed his commitment and signed instead with Bradley, where he played two seasons for the Braves before transferring to Mizzou.

Janie Arand

Missouri S&T senior basketball player Janie Arand (Borgia) surpassed the 1,000-point scoring mark Saturday, Jan. 27, in an 81-64 win over Rockhurst in Rolla.

Arand scored 12 of the team’s first 18 points as the Miners jumped out to an 18-4 lead to start the GLVC game. She scored 21 points for the game to top the Miners in scoring. She had 1,012 points through that game.

Through 19 games this season, Arand averages 15.5 points per game.

Emily Presley

Missouri Southern State University junior Emily Presley (St. Clair) was named the MIAA women’s field athlete of the week for the second time this season.

Presley posted the second-best pole vault in NCAA Division II by winning the Pittsburg State Invitational pole vault title. She cleared 13-4.5 during the meet, second only to her previous best of 14-0. Presley beat a field which included four NCAA Division I pole vaulters during the meet.

Abby Stricker

Washington High School graduate Abby Stricker, a Columbia College junior, was named the AMC track athlete of the week for the week ending Jan. 29.

Stricker placed first in the long jump and second in the pentathlon at the University of Central Missouri Mule Relays. She reached an NAIA A-Standard for national meet qualification with a long jump of 5.72 meters. She reached the NAIA B-Standard in the pentathlon with 3,115 points, the highest in the conference so far this indoor season.

Stricker also recently was honored by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame with a special achievement award for winning the NAIA long jump title during the 2017 outdoor season.

Jared Rennick

Washington High School graduate Jared Rennick won a pair of GLVC dual meet matches Jan. 20 for the Drury University wrestling program.

Rennick (197) beat Maryville’s Dustin Politte, 2-0, and McKendree’s Luke Diener, 8-3.

Rennick has been ranked as high as 12th nationally at 197 pounds in the NCAA Division II wrestling coaches poll.

Truman State

Two area players are currently on the roster of the Truman State University women’s basketball team.

Rachel Steinhoff (New Haven) and Jamie Gleeson (Hermann) are on the squad. Steinhoff is a redshirt junior while Gleeson is a senior.

Steinhoff has come off the bench for all games this season and averages 5.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. She has 22 assists and five steals.

Gleeson, who started her career at North Dakota’s Williston State, a two-year college, has been a reserve player this season for the Bulldogs. She averages 3.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. 

Zach Fischer (CBC), a senior with the men’s basketball team, averages 18.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game for the Truman State Bulldogs.

Fischer is a redshirt senior and the son of Ben Kandlbinder and Jennifer Fischer-Turgeon.

Rockhurst Volleyball

Two Borgia graduates were on the Rockhurst volleyball team, which reached the NCAA Division II semifinals last fall.

Audrey Arand knocked down eight kills and added four blocks in the team’s quarterfinal win over Flagler.

Arand started 32 matches for the Hawks, recording 236 kills to rank fifth on the team. 

Emma Kriete was a sophomore on the team and started seven matches with 56 kills while hitting .293. She played in 13 matches this season.

Concordia-St. Paul defeated the Hawks in the national semifinals.


Know of former area high school athletes making an impact at the college level? Email Missourian Sports Editor Bill Battle with information for inclusion in an upcoming College Athlete Update.