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A big hug after Inglemoor's Lystad signs her letter of intent

Inglemoor High senior Tansey Lystad hugs cross-country assistant coach Kelly Richards this morning after signing her letter of intent to run at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next season. Lystad won the 4A state cross-country title in November. To the right is head coach Frank Shuck.  - ANDY NYSTROM, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter
Inglemoor High senior Tansey Lystad hugs cross-country assistant coach Kelly Richards this morning after signing her letter of intent to run at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next season. Lystad won the 4A state cross-country title in November. To the right is head coach Frank Shuck.
— image credit: ANDY NYSTROM, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

Inglemoor High's 4A state cross-country champion is headed to California.

Senior Tansey Lystad signed a letter of intent to run for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Friday morning in a crowded Inglemoor principal's office with parents, grandparents, siblings, teammates, coaches and school administrators in attendance.

Cal Poly's coaches said they made her the biggest scholarship offer (almost a full ride) of any of their recruits, which include a California state champion.

Situated on California's central coast, Lystad feels the Division I school, the Mustang coaches and the location are a good fit.

"I hit it off with the assistant coach, Kelly Strong, when I first met her at state," Lystad said. "It was funny, because I talked to her and I really liked her, I looked on their Web site and they had the major I wanted, which is kinesiology ... and I was like, 'There's too many things that are going right' — it is meant to be."

Strong was an assistant coach for the University of Washington's women's cross-country team when the Huskies won the national championship in 2008.

Head coach Mark Conover ran in three Olympic trials and competed in the Olympics in 1988.

"He knows what he's doing, and I just believe that I'm gonna be very successful down there," said Lystad, noting that San Luis Obispo's green landscape and its close proximity to the ocean are plusses. "All my favorite stuff all in one place. Honestly, I never had a dream school, but if I had a dream school, it would be something like Cal Poly."

Next up for Lystad is running track for the Vikings in a non-pressure situation because she's already made her college choice.

"I can just be doing running because I love it, and usually you have more success when you don't have the pressure and stress on it," she said. "I hope that the season goes well — I just can't wait. Inglemoor track has always had a good reputation, and to be part of that is just amazing."

Lystad won the state cross-country title with a time of 17 minutes, 44.4 seconds Nov. 6 on the 3.1-mile course at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.

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