Monroe City's Blake Hays will run for the University of Missouri men's track and field program.

MORNOE CITY, Mo. – Blake Hays had kept his college plans out of public view for a few months.

Those came to light thanks the University of Missouri’s track and field Twitter account that announced the signing of the former Monroe City three-sport athlete.

“Everyone that was close to me knew,” Hays said. “I kept it to myself.”

However, he was appreciative of the reception he got after the news broke.

“Having that shared on Facebook and Twitter meant a lot because it showed the support I get from everyone,” Hays said. “It’s nice to see people rooting for me.”

They’ll get to root for him as he competes for the men’s track and field team this coming school year.

Hays quarterbacked the Monroe City football team to a Class 1 state championship in 2017, was a two-year starter for the boys basketball team and was a state champion in the 400-meter relay last spring. He figured track was the best opportunity for him to compete at the collegiate level. He plans to run the 400 at Mizzou, and could possibly run the 800.

“I loved football, but in college you got to be pretty big to play,” Hays said. “Track was more down my alley, and I really enjoyed that. I wanted to go to Mizzou (for academics) and this offer came up.”

Hays says he plans to major in either agriculture management or physical therapy.

He’s also continuing a family tradition of going to school in Columbia, where both his parents are Mizzou graduates.

“Our family has always been Mizzou fans,” Hays said. “The fact I get to be a part of the sports program there is a dream come true.”