College-bound athletes honored at HPHS on Wednesday include, from left, Cooper Chimbel (Hendrix, tennis), Lauren Hansford (Boston College, crew), Ben Baccara (Columbia, crew), Pearson Feagans (Villanova, track and field), Reid Alexander (Sewanee, golf), Danny Leland (Baylor, track and field), Andrew Frost (Air Force, football), Lauren Titus (American, lacrosse), and Gabby Crank (Texas, track and field). (Photo: Melissa Macatee)
You could forgive Danny Leland if he chose the Baylor track and field program solely based on its tradition, which includes a handful of Olympic gold medalists like Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner.
That’s important for sure, yet the Highland Park High School senior found a more personal connection that prompted him to run with the Bears over other major programs.
“There was something about Baylor that struck me,” said Leland, a decorated middle-distance runner for the Scots. “They’ve got a proven track record with their athletes, but it seemed like they really cared about me as a person.”
Leland was one of several HP athletes recognized during a ceremony Wednesday for signing or committing to college athletic programs during the spring semester.