Some major university was going to get an impressive, hard-working competitor on their women’s collegiate cross country team.
It turned out that the lure of comfort was more overpowering than the lure of cash for Michelle Hostettler.
Hostettler, the West Holmes Lady Knights senior All-Ohioan, was narrowing down her college choices, and found herself with three options. While she eventually chose the University of Toledo, it was not an easy decision, especially when an 11th-hour dark horse came riding in to try to snatch her away with offers of fortune.
Hostettler, who just won the Div. II Cambridge district meet Saturday, Oct. 22, had narrowed down her options to Ohio State University, Bradley University in Illinois and UT. When OSU’s coach recently left the school, she crossed that one off, and Bradley was a smaller school that is nearly eight hours from home, so that left Toledo as the remaining choice.
Set to become a Rocket, Hostettler’s decisions were far from being nailed down when Ohio University came calling. OU made her an offer that was a good deal better than what she had been offered from UT. With considerable financial gain at her fingertips, she had to consider the OU offer.
She did, but in the end, Toledo’s atmosphere, program and coaching staff made her feel like UT was the perfect place to call home for the next four years.
“It was a heck of a good offer from Ohio U.,” Hostettler said. “It was a lot more money than Toledo was offering, but in the end, I just felt that I was a better fit at Toledo. I really felt good there during my visits, and I felt a lot more comfortable there.”
It is never easy to turn down a lot of money, but Hostettler showed that other factors can also have a major influence too.
“Even though Ohio University offered Michelle a really amazing, deal, Toledo is still giving her a pretty nice offer too,” said West Holmes coach Kevin Beachy. “But you have to feel comfortable when choosing a school, and I think Michelle felt that way about Toledo.”
So, for Hostettler, the lure of a full ride from one school did not outweigh the belief that she wanted to feel at ease and in a good place for the next four years.
Regardless, she is glad to have finally put the whole recruiting process behind her so she can focus on the task at hand, which is to work her way back to the state meet, where she hopes to duplicate her success last year, when she became the highest placer in West Holmes High School history with a third-place finish overall.
“I am glad it’s over, and I can now get back to focusing on running,” said Hostettler. “The whole recruiting thing and trying to figure out where to go is hard. I am happy that I feel comfortable in calling Toledo my home.”
Hostettler said she is planning to study nursing, but she said that may change down the road.