Peninsula High senior discus thrower Michala Zilkey is headed to Utah State University in the fall.
The high school held a second ceremony last week to recognize a few more athletes who will be playing their respective sports at the next level. Zilkey took second in state in discus her sophomore year, and eighth last year.
The Utah State coaching staff originally got in touch with Zilkey through Facebook, which caught her a bit off guard.
"I didn’t even know they could do that," Zilkey said, with a laugh. "I came out in November for a visit and loved it. I just really liked the atmosphere. The coach was fantastic. The girls were really nice. It was a great program."
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Zilkey got to take in a football game and said she thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and overall experience.
"The campus is beautiful," Zilkey said. "I love how it’s mostly flat, so I don’t have to walk hills all day."
Location was also a key factor for Zilkey: close, but not too close.
"My dad kind of made a joke that I was only allowed to go two states away," Zilkey said. "I wanted to be far enough away where I didn’t know that many people. I wanted to be in a new situation. I’m excited for the new atmosphere. I love meeting new people and just trying new things."
Zilkey plans to study exercise science in college and hopes to one day become a physical therapist. While a knee injury has bothered her a bit to start the season, the senior is confident in her recovery and hopes she can ramp up the intensity before the postseason. Competing in college will be a new challenge — one that Zilkey is looking forward to.
"I'm excited for the challenges that are coming," Zilkey said. "At the high school level, there’s not a lot of competition. At the college level, everyone deserves to be there. It'll be more difficult, which is something that I like."
Zilkey takes pride in the fact that she’s been a Peninsula Seahawk for four years.
"Being a Seahawk just means the green and gold is running through your veins," Zilkey said. "It’s just a welcoming atmosphere with all the teachers and students. It’s been great."
The other Peninsula High School students who will be competing at the next level are: Megan Eberhardt, Pacific University (Oregon), track; Zach Goddard, Montana Tech, football; Austin Kilcup, Eastern Oregon University, track; Marque Kriebel, Montana Tech, football.