Bradwell Institute first-year head cross-country coach Sean Redmond said his team is ready for the Region 3-AAAAA meet Friday in Richmond Hill — with an eye toward next week’s state meet.
The team has competed in eight meets this season, including the Oct. 22 Wayne County meet, where it placed well. Redmond said the boys and girls placed third out of 12 teams and finished ahead of cross-town rival Liberty County High.
Redmond said some of his current top runners finished a meet, typically a 5K or 3.1 mile run, above the 20-minute mark during their first timed trial.
“Now I have a varsity squad that is running consistently under 19 minutes, with the top guys knocking on the door around 18 minutes and my top runner, Jamorris Hill, he is looking like he can go under 17 minutes for a 5K,” the coach said.
At the Wayne County meet, Hill finished in 17 minutes, 31 seconds for fourth place. For the Lady Tigers, Aaliyah Howard finished in the top four at 21:18.
“We have a great squad of up-and-comers for the girls,” Redmond said. “Mc-kaylin Darsey is only a sophomore, but she has led the team this year. We’ve had strong performances from Aaliyah Howard … she is a junior and Michaela Calvin is traditionally a sprinter, but she has taken to cross country. These three are the keystone of dedication, positive attitude and they are always willing to go the extra mile and they work to make each other better. They are truly team players.”
Redmond said his team is ready to do well at the Region 3-AAAAA championship meet. If all goes as planned, the Tigers then will go to Carrolton for the state championships Nov. 9.
Redmond is in his third year teaching at Bradwell and served as an assistant coach to the cross-country team last year. When the opportunity to be the head coach presented itself, the avid runner decided to give it a shot.
“I ran in high school and I’ve always been an athlete,” he said. “I’ve run marathons and half marathons, so it seemed like a natural progression to step into coaching here.”
It’s been a gradual process, Redmond explained.
“The team is fantastic, and it’s been a bit of a rebuilding year since we lost some key seniors last year to graduation,” he said. “One thing that I’ve tried to do is find meets that I could take more runners to rather than just taking my varsity squad … I value my varsity, they are there working their tails off but the folks that are on JV… a lot of times they know they are not going to be the elite runner but they push the elite runners harder. In the sense of a team, I know one person gets the time but the fact that there are other folks out there pushing your top folks as hard as they can … that is what makes us better. The team has had some ups and downs this season, but towards the end we’ve watched them get really fast and put out some gutsy performances.”
Jamorris Hill, Nakia Sapp, Chris Lyles, Jacoby Hardy, Donte Harris, Trayvon Harris, Scott Mason, Desman Martin, Lucas Rupprecht, Raven Rupprecht, Ezra Muino, Denicio Freeny, William Brady, Chris Wash, Tyler Laird, Bobby Reynolds, Angelo Eskridge, Lordjan Quiambao, Dontrell Fields, Joey Encarnacion, Cameron Stacy and Harold Flowers.
Aaliyah Howard, Mckaylin Darsey, Michaela Calvin, Serena Nicholson, Shawntrice Sapp, Demonika Lindsey, Alexus Davis, Terricka Blakemore, Nicole Jones and Christiana Eskridge.