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University High duo sign to run at WVU

MORGANTOWN — Peyton Kukura and TaShala Turner were raised proud Mountaineers, and on April 11 they chose to stay that way.
The two University High seniors officially decided to attend college in their hometown, committing to run at WVU.
The Mountaineers are coached by Sean Cleary and posted two all-Mid-Atlantic Region honorees in cross-country and two national qualifiers in indoor track and field this year.
“I really like it. I’ve always been a WVU fan, so it’s really exciting,” Kukura said.
The duo of Kukura and Turner was a powerful one, leading the charge to four consecutive Class AAA cross-country state championships for the Hawks.
Turner was the star of the show, a Class AAA state meet runner-up her sophomore and senior years as well as a three-time all-state selection and a four time all-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) selection.
What is arguably more important, however, is that she plans to be the first in her family to attend and finish college.
“I’m going to be the first person in my family who goes to college,” she said. “I’m excited to finish my degree and maybe one day go to P.A. (physician assistant) school. That’d be cool.
“I’m just glad I get to experience running in college.”
For Kukura, starting at WVU is a chance to continue the foundation her family laid at the instituion.
“It’s really exciting, because my siblings and my parents went there, so I’ ve always had that pride in WVU,” she said. “I grew up looking up to the athletes and it will be cool being one.
“I’m sure my parents will be super excited, and I’m excited to follow in there footsteps too.”
Kukura and Turner will join three former crosstown rivals from Morgantown at WVU — Amber Dombrowski, Samantha Hatcher and Avigail Radabaugh also signed Wednesday.
“Samantha and I have been best friends since like third grade, but we were always on different teams,” Kukura said. “It’ll be fun now to be on the same team.”
They will also join former Hawk Sarah Wills, a redshirt sophomore on the team.
“Sarah has told me about all the fun they have on the team,” Kekura said. “I know the coach, he’s a great guy.”
Both Kukura and Turner noted the “team aspect” played a part in their committment decisions.
“I’m excited to run with all of them because I know the team aspect that will be there; it’s super exciting,” Kukura said.”
Turner is excited for the potential memories to be made and the adventures they are sure to have running at the Division I level.
“We never got to be on the same team, so being on the same team is going to be motivating. Just having all these experiences, traveling, going to Big 12 and flying to Texas, it’s going to be really fun,” she said.
Kukura also hopes that she and her compatriots finally competing together will spur motivation and intensity within the group.
“We’re all a really motivating group, so I think we will do well as a team,” she said. “I just know we’re all going to motivate and push each other to do our best.
“It’s great running with girls you already know, and I’m excited to meet the other girls coming in as well.”