Pitman High seniors Madi King, left, and Emily Vander Weide signed with NAIA William Jessup University and NCAA Division II CSU San Marcos, respectively, on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at a ceremony in the Pitman High Library in Turlock, Calif. (Joe Cortez/Front Row Preps)

Pitman dual-sport stars Vander Weide, King sign letters of intent

Joe Cortez

TURLOCK — Pitman High seniors Madi King and Emily Vander Weide have been best friends since their days as kindergarteners at Turlock Christian School.

So it seemed fitting that the the pair sign their national letters of intent on the same day.

They won’t be going to the same college, however.

King, a track and field thrower, signed with William Jessup University in Rocklin, while Vander Weide signed to play volleyball next year at Cal State San Marcos, during an event on Tuesday in the Pitman High School library that had the feel of a celebration.

Coaches, administrators, friends and family were on hand for the 30-minute ceremony

The list of accomplishments for the star athletes is long, but not stat rattled off during the ceremony was as impressive as their grade-point averages. King, who wants to major in literature and one day be a writer, carries a 4.36 GPA, while Vander Weide, who will enter college with an undeclared major, holds down a 4.2 GPA.

Vander Weide also competes in track and field (in the high jump and long jump), while King also played for the school’s powerhouse volleyball team (middle blocker).

Both are excited about their choices and both are excited to have the recruiting process in their rear-view mirrors

“Since track is farther along in the school year, it’s more nerve-racking  because you have to get your marks in for a college recruiter or college coach to look at you,” said King. “To have it so early in the season, to have that calmness, and for the rest of the season to just do the best that I can to further my marks and further my athletic career, is so great to me.”

What made the day more special for King and Vander Weide was life-long friends were signing on the same day.

“When we were little we used to pretend like we were sisters,” said Vander Weide. “And we kind of act like it, and it feels like we are. And it’s just amazing to go through this process with someone that you’re so close with, and it was a great experience.