REED CITY – Abbigail Kiaunis completed a strong four-year cross-country career at Reed City earlier this month and is now preparing for the university level.
Last week, Kiainis signed a letter of intent with Southern Illinois University.
She will also be on the track and field team.
"Abbie has been our top running back since her freshman year," said Reed City co-coach Rich Saladin. "She is the 'lead dog' for sure, going from the Coyotes to the Salukis. Best person to represent our program. She has been a team captain for two years, qualified for the states for all four years, winner of four conference awards and a two-time state medalist.
"Signing up with a D1 Southern Illinois program is a big deal. He did his research with academic programs that interested him and narrowed down to the state of Michigan and southern Illinois. Coaches from SIU have done a great job making her feel like part of their family. She is an amazing girl and a great runner. We will cheer her on in this next phase of her life. " Kiaunis was a CSAA Gold individual champion, first team in all CSAA Gold conferences, finishing sixth in the region, setting a new school record of 18:58 and taking 12th place in the state finals at 7:18 p.m. seven top spots, including
six wins and three second places. She was also team captain
“I've watched Abbie become a confident leader during her four years on our Reed City cross country team,” said co-coach Susan Saladin. “She leads by quiet example, running extra miles and completing workouts without complaint. Race back to pick up lagging runners and perform extra warm-ups and cool-downs so no athlete has to be alone. The next seniors have big shoes to fill. We will miss Abbie very much. ”
SIU is in Cardondale, Ill. Kiaunis met the team through a zoom meeting.
"I really like the team atmosphere they have there," Kiaunis said. "There really was no snow and I saw the same team look that I have with this team in Reed City." Kiaunis said coaches contacted her at the beginning of the season.
"They found out about me watching sometimes and stuff," he said. "It all came down to them and MSU."
Kiaunis is studying agribusiness or animal science at SIU.