Josh Braverman had a scrap of paper that sat in coach Phil Lonborg’s office last spring, detailing his top college choices.
The University of Iowa quickly jumped to the top of that list for Braverman, a River Ridge High School senior, on Tuesday afternoon.
Surrounded by coaches, teammates, family members and friends, Braverman — sporting a bright yellow Iowa jacket — happily signed his National Letter of Intent with the Hawkeyes’ track and field program.
“I really want to pursue being the best I can,” Braverman said. “Knowing that I already have a Division I scholarship secured, I’m just going to go out there and give it my all, so I can come into my freshman year as a college athlete ready to pick up where I left off.”
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Here’s where he left off last year.
Braverman became River Ridge’s 50th state champion in track and field when he won the Class 2A title in the 300-meter hurdles last spring.
His personal-best time of 37.98 seconds, set in the preliminary round of the championships last May at Mount Tahoma, is second in the state of Washington in any classification.
He was the runner-up for the 2A title in the 110 hurdles as a junior. His personal-best time in that event (14.06) is also the second-best time in Washington.
Lonborg, who retired last spring after 23 years coaching track and field at River Ridge, said he will continue to help Braverman develop his senior season.
Braverman has big ambitions as he enters the next phase of his track and field career. He wants to win a Big Ten championship. Four years from now, he’s aiming to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo.
“Now it’s about getting bigger and stronger, because his talent and skill level is there,” Lonborg said.
Lonborg has sent one other athlete along to run for the Hawkeyes. DeJuan Frye, a former River Ridge sprinter who was a six-time state champion, is entering his sophomore year at Iowa.
“It really motivated me because he improved so much in his first year, so I feel the same thing is going to happen to me,” Braverman said.
Frye hosted Braverman late in October when he visited the campus in Iowa City. Braverman toured the campus and attended Iowa’s football game against Wisconsin with Frye alongside him.
“It was really assuring and fun,” Braverman said. “Two kids from Washington over here, and we’re going to be putting in work on the same team together. It was relaxing. I was just absorbing the experience and just loved the environment.”
Braverman said he’d been in frequent contact with Iowa prior to committing to the school, but the visit is what did it.
“It just all happened at the visit,” he said. “That was where I put the stamp that I was going to go to Iowa, because I loved the facilities, and the coaches, and the environment, and the college.”
▪ Capital’s Gabriel Barnes signed his NLI on Monday to play golf at California State University at Northridge — a Division I program in the Big West Conference.
Barnes, a senior, has golfed for the Cougars since his freshman year. Capital has won the 3A Narrows League tournament every year Barnes has been on the team.
He tied for eighth at the 3A state tournament last spring. The Cougars took second in the team competition.
▪ Riley Killip, an Olympia senior, signed his NLI on Saturday to play golf at Sonoma State.
Killip was the 4A Narrows League champion last season in the tournament’s final year. He set two records in the tournament. His two-day score (12-under-par 132) and single-round mark on the final day (8-under 64) were both tournament records at Lake Spanaway Golf Course.
Killip placed 15th in the 4A state tournament as a junior.