Bloomsdale, Missouri native Taylor Werner announced yesterday on social media that she is forgoing her final seasons of eligibility at the University of Arkansas and joining the professional ranks by signing with Puma. The former Ste. Genevieve High School All-American is in her fifth year of college but technically had one season of indoor track and field left and two outdoor seasons remaining due to injuries and Covid-19 pandemic cancelling last year’s outdoor season.
FloTrack reported last In December that Werner was signing with Puma and joining a new training group based in North Carolina. Werner announced the news with a photo of herself and two of her new teammates in Puma gear in the snow, as they appear to be training at altitude.
Werner’s decision comes four months before the 2021 Olympic Track and Field Trials in June before the late July, early August Tokyo summer Olympics that were postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It also comes a month before Arkansas was set to host the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, however Werner’s announcement likely comes months before her decision was made. One of her first responses about the FloTrack report was that nothing was “signed yet”.
Werner burst on the Missouri state running scene with some excellent eighth-grade track times, but as a high school freshman for the Ste. Genevieve Dragons????? she quickly became one of the country’s best runners. She went on to become a multi-time All-American, earning the honors at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships three times and the Nike Cross Nationals, once..