Emma Wilson transferring from U. of Illinois to Huntington University

Monday, July 6, 2020
Emma Wilson will continue her education and running career this fall at Huntington University.
University of Illinois photo

Former Indiana high school cross country and track and field state champion Emma Wilson of Greencastle has transferred from the University of Illinois after one year and will compete for Huntington University this fall.

Wilson was a five-time state champion at Greencastle, winning the cross country state title in her junior and senior years and winning both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in track and field.

She also was a two-time winner of the Gatorade Indiana Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year Award, and placed seventh at the New Balance Nationals in New York. Wilson also had the nation’s fastest 3,200-meter indoor time in February of 2019.

Last fall at Illinois, Wilson competed in seven meets for the Illini, scoring points for the team at six meets – including the NCAA Midwest Regional and NCAA Championships.

She finished second for the team three times, including second overall at the Illini Open with a season-best 5K finish time of 17:06.2.

Wilson timed a season-best 6K finish at Pre-Nationals, crossing at 21:12.5, and placed 12th overall at the John McNichols Invite, timing 21:15.4.

For her efforts, Wilson was a nominee for the Illinois Female Freshman of the Year award.

She did not compete in indoor track for the Illini, and the team’s spring outdoor season was canceled by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Wilson joins a 12-runner recruiting class for this fall at Huntington, an NAIA school located just south of Fort Wayne.

The Foresters have had great success recently in running sports, finishing 10th last fall as a team in the NAIA Championships – the highest finish in program history.

Huntington is looking to build on that success with a solid core of returners which includes 2019 NAIA Cross Country National Champion Hannah Stoffel.

“Our women's team is poised to earn another top ten finish at nationals this fall,” said head coach Nick Johnson. “We're really excited about the quality of the student-athletes we have joining our HUXC family and to watch our returning student-athletes continue improving.

“This will be our strongest women's team in school history and we're anxiously awaiting the opportunity to represent HU and our community.”

Wilson will be rejoining high school classmate and longtime teammate Sydney Kallem, who was a freshman at the school last year.

This past winter, Huntington claimed the NAIA women’s indoor national track and field championship.

Wilson explained her decision to the Mile Split Indiana track and field website.

"It was a really difficult decision,” she said. “I went into college with a lot of mental struggles and I was extremely burned out on running. These issues made it really difficult for me to run well and adjust to college, I also put a lot of pressure on myself and really started to dislike running."

Wilson told Mile Split Indiana that Huntington’s size was appealing to her.

“I decided that I needed to make a change to a smaller school where I can work on getting back to just enjoying running again and having a more balanced college experience,” she said.

According to the Track and Field Results Reporting system, Wilson will have three years of eligibility in cross country and four years each in both indoor and outdoor track and field.