When Wesley Worthy started running for Bradwell’s cross-country team, it was more of a hobby for him and a way to hang with a few friends.
But Worthy changed that hobby into his ambition, and on Thursday signed a letter of intent to run cross country for South Georgia College in Douglas.
Worthy said SGC is the perfect place for him to pursue a degree in nursing. He said it was a little intimidating to know he was recruited as the fastest runner but added the scholarship means a lot to him and his family.
“There is a little pressure, but I think I’m ready,” he said.
“It’s really big for us to get a student from Bradwell and we are really excited with getting Wesley and expect great things from him,” third-year SGC cross-country coach Robert Preston said. “He is going to contribute immediately.”
Tigers cross-country coach Brian Williams said Worthy’s transformation happened over a period of two seasons and was completely unexpected. He said the first time Worthy ran in a 5K cross-country meet, he clocked in at 23 minutes — running more to enjoy ambiance than to compete.
“I could tell he was determined,” Williams said. “A hard worker and he never quit. He has the can-do attitude. He started chopping off time and, after about a year or so, I told him he could probably help us win the region. We hadn’t won region in about 10 years, so that was one of our goals and we ended up doing it. He invested his time over the summer and we made it happen.”
That investment also helped Worthy shave roughly seven minutes off his time and allowed him to finish in 16 minutes.
“This is one the fastest freshmen classes we’ve had from top to bottom, and Wesley is one of the fastest runners we ever signed,” Preston said. “We really think we have a good chance of doing something good this year, and he will be a big part of it.”
SGC’s cross country team is a relatively new program, and Preston said Worthy is the type of student-athlete SGC wants to develop.
“We are always looking for athletes in our area that are solid students and fast runners, and Wesley meets those criteria and we wanted to do our best to try and keep our scholarship money here in South Georgia as much as possible,” he said. “We are proud of doing that, and there is enough talent in our area that we can do that.”