Walking off the track at Ohio State after ending her high school career with a fourth-place finish in the long jump in the Division I state meet June 7, New Albany High School senior Rosie White felt good about the way things had gone.

Walking off the track at Ohio State after ending her high school career with a fourth-place finish in the long jump in the Division I state meet June 7, New Albany High School senior Rosie White felt good about the way things had gone.

She felt good, but not great.

"I'm satisfied," White said, before thinking that statement over. "I'm never satisfied, actually. I'm OK with it."

Ideally, she would have liked to end her high school career on top, with a state championship or at least a personal best (White's jump of 18 feet, 7 1/2 inches was an inch off her personal best). But unlike the vast majority of athletes, her athletic career path isn't over now that she's got a high school diploma.

White will spend the next four years running and jumping on scholarship at Eastern Michigan. She signed her letter of intent on May 15.

"It's a relief," White said at the signing. "I started the process late, so it's good to have it done."

White is one of the first New Albany athletes to run track on scholarship at the Division I college level. In the eyes of Eagles girls coach Otis Winston, her signing represents a big step forward for the growing program.

"I think it's huge," said Winston, who completed her first season as coach after working as an assistant coach the previous four years. "As we were riding home the other day, freshman Mycah Mason said, 'I want to do what she's doing.' Like I've said before, she's the trailblazer of the program."

The recruiting process didn't begin in earnest for White until after her junior season. College coaches began talking seriously to her in December, just before the indoor season, and the first scholarship offer she received was from Delaware State in late April.

By the time she made her final decision, she also was considering Michigan State, Cincinnati and Ball State, but it became clear on her official visit to Eastern Michigan that it would be the best overall fit for her.

"It was the atmosphere of the whole campus," White said. "The girls, the coaches, everything."

White said her main focus at Eastern Michigan will be on the long jump, although her high school accolades extend well beyond that event. White was a four-time regional qualifier, advancing in an individual event three times. As a sophomore, she was fourth at district in the 100 meters and ran on the 400 relay that was 10th at state. The next year, she reached the regional with district titles in the 400 and long jump and a second-place finish in the 200.

That season, however, she had what she called "a really bad regional meet" as the New Albany girls missed the state meet entirely. This spring, with that disappointment in her mind, she left her stamp on the regional meet by winning a title in the long jump and running on the state-qualifying 400 and 800 relays.

Neither relay reached the final at state, but White's somewhat "unsatisfied" finish in the long jump turned out to be the best state finish in program history. Two weeks earlier in the district 3 meet at Dublin Coffman, she set the school record in the long jump with an effort of 18-8 1/2.

A big reason that White was able to have a strong senior season was the singular focus she put on track, a sport that she said some athletes view as a "social" sport, over for the past two years.

"She just wanted to be focused on track to accomplish her goals," Winston said. "(Signing a scholarship) was one of those goals being accomplished. One of the things she told me when she and I got serious two years ago was that she wanted a scholarship at a Division I school. She got a scholarship at a Division I school.

"She's going to be someone that people talk about around here for a while."