Alli Burdette signs her softball letter of intent to Elon as Austin Green, who signed with WVU for swimming, looks on.
Austin Green was determined to take the road less traveled, even if most of it was underwater.Green signed a national letter of intent to swim at West Virginia during a short ceremony Thursday at South Charleston High School. Another of the school's Division I recruits, pitcher Alli Burdette, signed with the softball program at Elon.A two-time state champion and All-America qualifier, Green will be one of only a few West Virginia natives on the Mountaineers squad. WVU's current 27-man roster includes just two state athletes. Green also considered competing at East Carolina, Arizona State and Pittsburgh."It was the mountains that brought me back,'' Green said, "being near home and able to represent my state.''
In doing so, he decided not to follow older brother Travis Green, a senior at Kentucky and, like Austin, a former state champ and prep All-America at SC."I wanted to make my own name for myself,'' Austin Green said, "rather than being little brother.''
Austin Green won the 100-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke at last year's state meet in Morgantown. In the latter event, he was clocked at 57.50 seconds in the preliminaries, setting a state meet record and earning his All-America status.Burdette, meanwhile, went 12-8 with a 0.78 ERA in an all-state junior season for the Black Eagles. She led the state with 256 strikeouts in 126 innings.She also topped SC in hitting at .397 - one of just two Black Eagles at .350 or better. Burdette added 12 doubles, four homers and 20 RBIs.Elon went 24-27 last spring, 9-15 in the Southern Conference.Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.