HASTINGS, Neb. — Four years of communication led to one moment on Monday for Alayna Vargas.

The Hastings St. Cecilia state champion runner made her college choice official, signing her letter of intent to run cross country and track at Concordia University in Seward. Her relationship with eight-time GPAC coach of the year Matt Beisel was a big factor.

“Over the past four years I’ve been in high school, I’ve just formed such a good connection with Coach Beisel especially," Vargas said. "I just trust him so much with my training.”

Vargas says going through the highs and lows of her running career made the signing day event extra meaningful.

“I’ve always wanted to run in college, but, you know, it’s a big decision to decide where. The second I was on campus I knew. It’s just so special to know that it’s finally decided,” Vargas said.

Vargas won the Class D state cross country title as a freshman and finished runner up as a sophomore. She also owns five state track medals, including a gold from her sophomore year 4x800 relay team. She hopes to add more medals to her collection this season.

“I’ve got my sister with me this year, she’s a freshman - phenomenal runner already. She’s honestly made it so much more fun this last year of high school, my senior year. We run together every day, we do our workouts together," Vargas said. "It’s not really a rivalry, I’d say we’re very easy going but it’s exciting to get some competition.”

Six total athletes signed their letter of intent on Monday at St. Cecilia. Three Bluehawk football players pledged to play at Hastings College.

Jordan Head, Parents Clint & Andria Head – Concordia University – Softball and Choir

Carson Kudlacek, Parents Chad & Amy Kudlacek – Hastings College – Football

Cooper Butler, Parents John & Nicki Butler – Hastings College – Football

Jayden Lagunas, Parents Flor Lagunas  – Hastings College – Football

Alayna Vargas - Concordia University- Cross Country and Track 

Madelyn Strong – Doane University - Cheer