Lady Tiger hurdler and jumper KeAndrea Ladson has signed a letter of intent to take her leaps to the University of South Carolina-Upstate.
According to girls’ track coach Brian Williams Ladson’s versatility helped her earn the scholarship.
“She is very good in a bunch of different events and is ranked top 10 in multiple events in the state,” he said. “She is ranked top 10 in the high jump, triple jump, the 100 and 300 hurdles and top 20 in the 100, 200 meter dash and the long jump.”
In fact, Ladson is ranked number eight in the state for the triple jump with her best mark being 37 feet 6.75 inches, according to gamilesplit.com.
Ladson is the Region 3-AAAAA leader in the 100-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and triple jump this season.
“She has gotten better throughout the season in the triple jump, but she is a better hurdler,” boys track coach DeAndre Davis said. “She will probably enter as one of their most talented freshmen on the squad. She just needs to maintain a level head and focus on the values she learned from her family.”
Ladson said she has always wanted to run track at college and plans on studying to become a nurse. She said she was comforted that former BI track star Anthony Holsendolph is already at USC-Upstate and added she wanted to hit the ground running or in her case jumping.
“It felt like a family and I felt comfortable around the coaches and teammates,” she said, adding she wants to set personal records in each event her first year.
Ladson said her grandmother is a nurse.
Ladson’s mother, Michelle Smith, said she is living vicariously through her daughter’s accomplishments.
“When I was at Bradwell, I ran track but I wasn’t anywhere near as fast as she is,” she said. “I am very excited and proud of her and it’s another step in our life that she has achieved. I plan to be there for her.”
Smith said she placed her daughter in a track program when she was 7.
“And she went on from there,” Smith said of her only child.
She said she has talked to her daughter about the importance of her opportunity and peer pressures at college.
“I’ve talked to her about being careful and if she needs me to call me…Don’t be out drinking and driving because if you want to be successful you are going to have to be good,” she said. “Don’t follow what other people are doing… Let your career and whatever you want to accomplish come first.”