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Dohogne, Lacey, Parry to run for Division I schools
Central's Dohogne, Scott City's Lacey sign with Southeast Missouri State, while Jackson's Parry will run at Southern Illinois-Carbondale
Three local all-state high school runners will take their talents to Division I programs close to home.
Central senior Mary Dohogne and Scott City senior Melanie Lacey recently signed letters of intent with Southeast Missouri State.
Jackson senior Tori Parry will sign a letter of intent today with Southern Illinois-Carbondale.
All three will participate in both cross country and track for their respective universities.
"I'm very happy about Mary and Melanie coming here. They are two pretty good signings for us," said Ryan Lane, Southeast's cross country coach and track assistant in charge of distance runners. "I'm pretty optimistic with both. They have both done other sports, not just running, so their improvement curve is very big."
Dohogne, who placed 24th at the Class 4 cross country meet this past fall, said she is "really excited" about the chance to compete for her hometown university.
"I'm really looking forward to it. I'm counting down the days to graduation," she said.
Dohogne said she also considered several Division II schools before settling on Southeast.
"It's local. The fact it's Division I was big, too. I like the coaches," Dohogne said.
Several local products annually compete for Southeast so Dohogne already is familiar with several of her future teammates.
"That's exciting," Dohogne said.
Lacey, who placed 16th in the Class 2 cross country meet in her senior season, is just as fired up as Dohogne about attending Southeast.
"I'm super excited. When I went on my official visit I really got along with all the girls I met and liked the coaches," Lacey said. "Quite a few other schools talked to me but I wanted to stay local, be close to my family."
Lacey said she never envisioned being a college athlete until recently.
"I never expected to run in college," said Lacey, a starter on the Scott City girls basketball team that reached the Class 3 quarterfinals. "After my junior year, when I got third place in the 3,200 [at the state track meet], I thought I might be able to."
Lacey will be reunited at Southeast with Stephanie Essner, another former Scott City standout athlete who is a freshman on the Redhawks' track squad.
"I ran with her for three years in high school. I'm looking forward to running with her again," Lacey said.
Parry, who placed 16th at the Class 4 cross country meet last fall, almost made it a trio of locals headed to Southeast as she seriously considered the Redhawks before deciding to head across the river to SIU.
"It was a hard choice. A lot of my friends are here and I didn't know if I wanted to leave," Parry said. "But Carbondale is only like an hour away. I can get away and still be really close to home.
"The coaches at both schools were great. But I really loved the [SIU] campus. As soon as I visited I fell in love with the campus."
SIU, like Southeast, has a strong program.
"I'm pretty excited about going there," Parry said.