Two Hancock College student-athletes made their college commitments official Wednesday by signing national letters of intent.
Hancock women’s basketball player Destinee Garcia committed to Park University and women’s track and field star Taylor Nevitt signed with Chico State.
Nevitt inked her papers just days before competing at the Southern California Regional Championships Trials.
The sophomore thrower qualified in three events – women’s shot put, discus throw and hammer throw. Last month at the Western State Conference Finals, the Nipomo High School graduate finished third in the shot put, fourth in the discus throw and sixth in the hammer throw events.
Chico State is a perennial powerhouse at the Division II-level.
Under head coach Robert Nooney, the Wildcats are looking to win their eighth straight California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) title this month.
Nevitt plans to major in psychology at Chico State.
“I’m excited for the coaches and my teammates at Chico State. They have such a family vibe which is what I have been looking for so I feel like I’ve finally found my home,” said Nevitt, who originally signed with UC Santa Barbara out of high school. “I am really glad I came to Hancock and continued with track, volleyball and hit the books. I can’t wait to go to Chico State. I’m very excited.”
Last season, Nevitt won the conference’s shot put title. She finished eighth at the 2016 CCAA State Meet in the shot put and tenth in the discus throw.
Her personal-best marks are 40 feet, 8 inches in the shot put; 134-4 in the discus throw; 85-1 in the javelin throw; and 112-4 in the hammer throw.
Nevitt also played women’s volleyball at Hancock in 2015 and 2016.
As a sophomore, Garcia averaged 8.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game for the Bulldogs.
The 5-foot-9 Garcia played a key role in Hancock’s 17-win season that included the program’s first Southern California Regional playoff berth in more than a decade.
As a freshman, Garcia averaged 8.3 points, and a team-high 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. During her Hancock career, Garcia recorded 10 double-doubles.
Garcia will join Park University, an NAIA program based in Parkville, Missouri.
The Pirates compete in the American Midwest Conference and were 6-21 last season under seventh-year head coach Kenneth Cooper.
Under Cooper, the Pirates advanced to the AMC quarterfinals six times and to the semifinals on two occasions.
“I chose Park because it felt like home,” said Garcia, who graduated from Golden West High School in Visalia. “When I chose Hancock it was because of the environment and how much the community was involved and the coaching staff. It was the same over there and I can’t wait to start this new journey.”
Several more Hancock baseball, men’s basketball, football and track athletes are expected to sign in the next several weeks. Last year, nearly two dozen student-athletes signed with four-year universities.