“I'm excited,” Dodgen said. “I just really want to go out and keep getting better and eventually make Nationals.”

College of the Siskiyous runner Hope Dodgen will continue her collegiate career on the four-year level.

Dodgen, who has been at COS for two years, will compete in cross country and in the distance races in track and field for the Simpson University Red Hawks of Redding, Calif.

Simpson competes in the NAIA and will field a track and field squad for the first time next season.

Dodgen signed with Simpson on April 27 along with fellow Eagle track and field teammate Caitlin Bennett, who competes in the throwing events.

“I’m excited,” Dodgen said. “I just really want to go out and keep getting better and eventually make Nationals.”

Dodgen has had aspirations of being able to run in college since she was in highs school and said she had a great experience at COS and is pleased to have the opportunity to move on to a four-year school.

Hope enjoys the challenge of running and how the sport forces you “to push yourself.”

Dodgen was raised in the small town of Adin, which has a population of around 250 and is located in Modoc County. She went to Big Valley High School, located about 12 miles away in Lassen County in  the town of Bieber.

Hope said she was impressed with the academics at the track coaches at Simpson and that it was a smaller Christian school.

Dodgen plans to major in political science and earn her master's degree after graduating from Simpson and eventually teach at a community college.

Katie Woodward, who is the head coach of both the cross country and track and field teams, at COS, said that Hope was a valuable member of both squads.

“She is incredibly tough and hard-working,” Woodward said. “She leads by example and is by far her toughest critic, never striving for mediocrity.”

Woodard said that Hope has an ”unwavering self-motivation and drive.”

She said that these attributes helped her win a Golden Valley Conference title, as well as a state berth in cross country during her time at COS. Last season, Dodgen won multiple conference titles for track as well in the 800, 1500, and 5000-meter races,

This year, Dodgen only got to take part in a few track races, before the season was called off due tot eh COID-19 pandemic.

While Woodward said that she had to overcome some injuries, the past few seasons, “I know she will continue to learn to control her desire to train hard and allow her body to rest, so she is able to reach her potential. “

She added that Hope is also an exceptional student, earning a 4.0 her first year at COS.

“I’ve had a really good experience at COS,” Dodgen said. “I’m from a really small town, so it was nice to go to school in a bigger town, that was not too big. I’ve also made some really great friends here.”

Her brother, Thomas Dodgen, also ran at COS during her freshman year at the school. He now competes at OIT in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Dodgen is excited that Bennett, who is a good friend of hers, will also be going to Simpson. She said it will be nice to have a friend at a new school and a new team.

Coach Woodward said that she has had a great experience coaching both Dodgen and Bennett at COS and wished them the best of luck at their new school.

I honestly just love these girls,” she said. “Their new coach is lucky to have them, and I know they will help him build an incredible program.”