Plotner signs on to Skyhawk program, college running dream comes true

St. Joseph-Ogden senior Jillian Plotner announced on social media that she officially joined the University of Tennessee Martin running program yesterday.

The four-year cross country and track & field athlete is ecstatic at one of her dreams coming true.

"I am so blessed and excited to announce this! I want to take the time to thank all my wonderful friends, coaches, teammates, fellow competitors, and my family," she wrote in a Facebook post. "It’s been a crazy adventure but I’m so excited for the future!!"

Joining the Skyhawks is also a step in the right direction for Plotner, who wants to become a forensic anthropologist. In August, she will join the College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences to work toward her degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in forensic science.

"I’m very excited to continue my running career to the college level!" she said via a Twitter interview. "It’s been a dream ever since I was younger. This opportunity has shown me that all my hard work does show off and that it is being seen."

Plotner said she was initially contacted by graduate assistant coach Karson Hahn and later meet with him and first-year head coach Kevin Mangan at the IHSA state cross country meet last November.

"They watched me compete and it was such an experience and I absolutely liked them both when I met them," explaining how she was recruited. "I honestly don’t know what I did to get on their radar but somehow it worked!"

St. Joseph-Ogden High School 2024 baseball seniors