BANDON — Josh Snyder and Hunter Hutton have accomplished much together as distance runners at Bandon High School, including helping the Tigers win a state title in cross country and just miss another in track and field.
So it was only fitting the two seniors should sign their letters of intent for college together.
Snyder signed a letter to compete for Portland State, while Hutton signed with Western Oregon in a joint ceremony at Bandon on Thursday.
“I always thought we were going to go to the same college,” Snyder said. “It’s pretty special to sign with him.”
Snyder picked Portland State because it is a good fit academically. He will study applied health and fitness or biology, with a goal of following his undergraduate degree at Portland State with three more years for an advanced degree at George Fox University with an eventual career in either physical therapy or athletic training.
Hutton, meanwhile, picked Western Oregon because it has a tradition of excellence in the 800 and 1,500 meters.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “I’m ready to get into my college career.”
He was sold on the excellence of the coaches and the school’s history, but also on his future teammates.
“I talked to all the guys on the team,” he said. “I hit it off with them. I didn’t find that with the other schools I visited.”
Hutton won a pair of state titles last spring, in the pole vault and the 1,500. He will likely have to give up the pole vault at Western Oregon, since the Wolves only offer that event for athletes in the decathlon program.
“I’ll miss it, but I knew that wasn’t what I was going to be,” he said, adding that the coaches like that he is a good pole vaulter because it shows his overall athleticism.
“Once you have an athlete, you can add speed onto that,” he said.
Like Snyder, he said the joint ceremony was special.
“It’s cool that we both found a place that fits us well,” he said.
The Tigers are midway through their track season, with hopes for one more team state title and individual accolades.
“We still have the school records to go after,” he said.
Snyder and Hutton both are close to the school records in both the 800 and 1,500 meters. Hutton also has twice just missed the record in the 3,000.
“Those are about due to come down,” Hutton said.
Snyder and Hutton followed fellow senior Sailor Hutton, Hunter’s twin sister, who signed with Boise State in the fall.
Brent Hutton, the team’s coach, said he is proud of all three.
“I’m thrilled that it worked out and all the hard work paid off,” Brent said. “It’s not usual for those kids to have that long-range goal of what they want to do. That group — Hunter, Josh and Sailor — came into high school knowing they wanted to run in college.”
The Bandon athletes compete at Marshfield twice in the next four days, with the Prefontaine Rotary Invitational today and the annual Coos County Meet on Tuesday.