Josie Bentz of Notre Dame High School to compete in track and field for Grand Valley State

Josie Bentz has accomplished everything she ever dreamed of on the volleyball court, helping Notre Dame High School win back-to-back Class 1A State Championships in the past two seasons.

Bentz is therefore ready to move on to his next challenge.

The Notre Dame high school student on Friday signed a national letter of intent to compete in track and field at Grand Valley State University, an NCAA Division II school located in Allendale, Mich.

Bentz will compete in the high jump, an event in which she is just beginning to scratch the surface of her potential.

For Bentz, this seemed like the perfect fit.

“It’s pretty exciting to do it. It’s good to know where I’m going to go, to seal this plan where I need to go. I’m glad a lot of people came and wanted to support. It makes me feel good, ”said Bentz. “I visited this summer and fell in love with it the second I got to campus. Their jump trainer (Steve Jones) is one of the best. He’s a great guy and I loved the way he coached the athlete. I also really like school. Obviously, I chose school first because that’s what I’m trying to focus on. This school has a really good pre-physiotherapy training program so that’s what really gave me a boost and the fact that the trainer was so good was just icing on the cake for me.

“I’m really excited for Josie,” said West Burlington-Notre Dame women’s track coach Mike Gurius. “She is a very talented athlete, a very good person. Looks like she’s going to a really good school. She is going to a place where she will be competitive right away. I think she has found a home. It is the most important.

“Josie has improved a lot over the past year,” said WB-ND aerials coach Corey Lamm. “She had a great season last year and she goes to a great school, a great program with great coaches. They’ve won a lot of national championships. She’ll be competing for a conference championship right away. She’s going to compete for a conference championship right away. made all the right decisions academically.

Bentz, an outside hitter for the Nikes volleyball team, is ready to leave the sport behind and pursue athletics.

“I’ve been thinking about it since the summer, just in transition,” Bentz said. “I was like, ‘I don’t think I want to play volleyball anymore. I don’t think I want to pursue this after high school. I’m a little done with it. The high jump was the second best thing for me because last season I realized I was upset because I couldn’t jump high because I was injured. I think that’s what really flipped the switch for me.

Bentz, after missing his second athletic season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, came back in full force last year before a late-season leg injury slowed his progress. She finished tied for ninth in Class 3A in the State competition with a 5-foot-2 jump, finished eighth at the Drake Relays with a 5-1 1/2 jump, and was eighth-best. overall jump in state and fifth best in class 3A at 5-5.

Bentz will join a Lakers team that has four NCAA Division II National Championships, 20 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles and 21 boardroom championships.

Jones produced 26 All-Americans and 37 National Qualifiers while at Grand Valley State. Its athletes set 11 school records.

“It’s really good, but I know I have to work to be so visible,” Bentz said. “I want to be at the top. I want to compete for a national championship or even a conference championship and reach that level. I think it’s a school where I can do it.

With another year of training with Lamm, Bentz believes the sky is the limit in the high jump.

“I’ve been in high jump since grade six, but I haven’t really had the means to do anything. So West Burlington is the best place to do it because they have great facilities, ”Bentz said. “Working with Mr. Lamm this year is going to be a really big thing for me because I only have one year under my belt. with him. I think even this year has done a lot for me. Another year with him, then four years with my next coach at Grand Valley State is going to really boost me and get me where I want to be. “

“I think we’ve just scratched the surface. I think the season ahead of her will be fun. I think she will have a chance to compete with the best in the state, “said Gurius.” I can’t wait to have another season with her. She joined us last year and it was pretty obvious that she was a good jumper. . But I’m not sure we expected her to jump well. She really started to take off. She is a very good jumper. It’s exciting where she is at and what’s ahead of her. “

“Our eyes are on this year for sure,” said Lamm. “We are delighted with what will happen for her this year in the high jump. I hope she can go a little higher this year.

This article originally appeared on The Hawk Eye: Notre Dame High School senior to high jump at NCAA Division II school

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