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Meriden girls urged to ‘dream big’ as graduates head to the USA

Meriden graduates from the Class of 2023 are getting ready to compete in the highly competitive world of collegiate sport after accepting offers to study at leading universities in the USA.

Three alumnae will be representing their universities playing tennis: Nina Krecklenberg will be studying at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and playing for the Ragin Cajuns; Sienna Leeson has secured a place at the University of South Florida and will be playing for The Bulls; and Soha Singh will be attending Louisiana Tech University and playing for The Bulldogs.

Kate Woosnam has gained entry to Saint Leo University (Florida) and will be competing for the Lions soccer team, and track and field athlete, Ada Rand, will be attending Penn State University.

The five alumnae were part of Meriden’s Olympus program, which provides personalised programs to support student-athletes for both academic and sporting success.

Ada will be pursuing an undergraduate degree in Global and International Studies, while representing Penn State University in track and cross country.

“While we were in Year 11, Mr Richards advised the girls in the Olympus program to begin looking into universities that we would be interested in,” Ada said.

Mr Ryan Richards is the Head of Tertiary Pathways, who assists Meriden students with domestic and overseas university applications. He has particular expertise for applications to universities in the USA and United Kingdom, and over a decade of experience in the application and recruitment process of student-athletes.

Ada weighed up her options and considered the universities that were best suited to her academic and athletic interests.

“Penn State was one of these schools and things began to progress from there.”

Ada said the recruiting and application process went smoothly. “Mr Richards provided my family with advice as the application progressed, as neither my parents or I knew very much about what was involved.”

“I am looking forward to experiencing the college lifestyle – living in a dorm, making new friends and having fun outside of studies and sport. Penn State is a really big football school so I am excited to attend games and participate in college life,” Ada said.

In the meantime, Ada is coaching Meriden’s Senior School Cross Country athletes and managing Run Club in the Junior School until she heads off to the USA in September to begin her Freshman year.

Ada recently competed at the Australian Athletics Championships in Adelaide, winning the gold in the Under 20 1500m event, securing her spot at the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Peru later this year.


Meriden girls deserve to be on the world stage

Meriden has seen tremendous success in gaining entry to overseas universities, not only for sport but also through the academic pathways. In the past five years, many alumnae were offered places to study at renowned universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Imperial College, King’s College, The University of Southern California and Purdue.

Ada’s advice to students who are interested in attending university overseas is to conduct thorough research to find the university that best fits you.

“If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend going to visit any universities you are considering, as there is only so much you can learn virtually.

“Regarding the athletics side, I also had lots of conversations with the college coaches to make sure we would get along and that their coaching methods and approach would suit me.

“Another thing I would advise is to keep your options open. Throughout Year 12, I still applied to Australian universities via early entry and studied hard for my HSC, even though I was pretty sure I would be going to the USA.”

Mr Richards urges Meriden girls to:

  • Dream big – Meriden girls have proven they deserve to be on the world stage. Performing well at Meriden in sport or academics can lead to a world of opportunities at some of the most distinguished universities across the globe.
  • Find a balance – Universities are after a well-rounded student who can communicate and solve problems. Meriden students who immerse themselves in cocurricular activities such as sport, music and debating are seen as ideal candidates.
  • Demonstrate continuity and growth – Meriden girls who are involved in activities outside the classroom over a continuous period, such as cocurricular activities, shows growth and interest, which are key competencies universities and future employees look out for.
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