The Tualatin seniors each sign national letters of intent

by: DAN BROOD - COLLEGE-BOUND -- Tualatin High School seniors Hayley Mortensen (left) and Laura Taylor signed the national letters of intent last week at the school.TUALATIN — Hayley Mortensen and Laura Taylor have certainly made their marks at Tualatin High School.

The Tualatin seniors have each experienced state-championship glory while competing for Timberwolf squads.

Now, they will each be taking their state championship accolades out of state as, last Thursday, they each signed national letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate levels.

Taylor signed to compete for the University of Kansas women's track and field squad and Mortensen signed to play for the Northern Illinois University women's golf team during a ceremony held at the high school.

“This is really exciting,” Taylor said. “They won the national championship last year, and its the best opportunity for me to succeed at the highest level.”

Taylor has certainly succeeded at the high school level. Last year, as a Tualatin High School junior, Taylor claimed the Class 6A state championship in the pole vault event, clearing 11 feet, 9 inches to take the gold at the state meet.

This season, she has cleared a height of 12-7 which, as of Tuesday, put her in a tie for the top mark in the state.

She's looking to keep soaring higher at the University of Kansas.

“I want to help them win national championships,” said Taylor, who also excels in the long jump and in the relays at Tualatin. “I'm hoping to do well, and keep getting PRs (personal records). I've met the team, and coaches and saw the facilities there. They're all great.'

Mortensen is also enthused about competing at the next level.

“I'm really excited for it,” she said. “It's the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm going to work even harder and help the school win a title.”

She's already done that at Tualatin High School. As a sophomore, Mortensen helped the Wolves claim the Class 6A state team championship in 2012.

Last year, as a junior, she finished in fourth place in the individual standings at the Class 6A state tournament.

She's hoping for continued success at Northern Illinois.

“It's the perfect fit for me,” Mortensen said. “It's a growing program, and I'm really excited to be a part of it.”

While Taylor and Mortensen are both looking forward to competing at the collegiate level, they each still have some business to take care of for their respective Timberwolf teams.

Taylor will be competing at the Pacific Conference district track and field championships, which will be held today (Thursday) and Friday at Newberg High School.

Mortensen will next be in action at the Class 6A girls golf state tournament, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell.

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