On the Lady Tigers’ track meet they ran together as part of the Bradwell relay teams at the region and state meets. On Thursday afternoon, Lady Tigers Kwajelin Holsendolph and Camille Jackson were both ready to sign scholarships to run track and cross country as they signed to run at Georgia Southern and Augusta State University respectively.
Holsendolph has raced in the relays, 100-meter intermediate hurdles, and said her best times came from running the 100- and 400-meter dash. She admitted GSU was not among her initial choices when it came to running at the college level, but decided to give the school a second glance.
"They were looking at me and at first I didn’t even consider it," she said. "Then I did more research into the school and their nursing program is great and I liked it."
"We looked at the nursing program and learned it was one of the best in the nation and that was the main thing," her father, Anthony, said. "They have a pretty good track team.
Holsendolph said he used to run track as well and is thrilled his children are participating and excelling in the same sport he enjoyed.
"I want her to keep her drive and do the best she can," dad said.
"It’s still has not hit me that she is actually done," mom Velincia said. "I don’t think it will hit me until she goes off to college."
She said they plan to make as many track meets as possible.
"We’ll be there definitely," she said.
"She has been with me for four years and she came in as a runner, so all she had to do was get better," track coach Readie Kelly said. "It’s going to be a tremendous loss for the team as far as leadership, work ethics. I told her, when she started off with us as a ninth grader, ‘if you hang with me I’ll make you somebody,’ and today it all paid off. GSU is getting a good athlete and student."
Holsendolph said she plans to spend the summer running for her AAU Southeast Elite Track team to stay ready for college.
Jackson has always proven to be swift on the sprint circuit, volleyball court and basketball court. But she said she started running cross country awhile back under her AAU coach.
"I figured I would run cross country here at Bradwell in my ninth-grade year," she said. "I enjoy it better than sprinting. It’s my strong sport. I feel running is just a part of who I am, regardless of the other sports I do."
Cross country coach Ken Griffin said assistant coach Brian Williams did an excellent job of helping locate the people who were looking to recruit Jackson. He said her dedication to sports allowed for seamless transitions as she went from volleyball to cross country, basketball and finally the track season.
"She is just a well rounded athlete capable of a lot of things," Williams said. "I knew that she had it in her. She is a hard worker so it shouldn’t be a problem for her."
"I was very pleased to be contacted by Camille about her interest in our program," Adam Ward, the cross country coach at Augusta State University, said. After I met with her and her mother, I genuinely felt this young lady has the desire and skills to succeed at the college level as a distance runner. I look forward to working with her and helping her to continue to develop as a student-athlete. I believe she has a lot of potential and with hard work, as with all athletes, she has the opportunity to be a very solid contributor to our team. I have no doubts she will fit in well with our current and incoming student-athletes.
Coach Kelly said Jackson would be an asset to any college and hopes she gets the opportunity to try for other athletic venues.
The senior averaged 5 points per game on the hardwood, had 48 assists and 62 total rebounds in her senior season as the Lady Tigers went 29-2 overall and 14-0 in region 3-AAAAA.
"But I do plan on playing basketball there too," Jackson said, not wanting to be a one-sport athlete. "I’ve talked to the coach about it and I’ve sent him some video clips.""I have talked to the coach there and he has agreed to give her a tryout and that is all I ask," Lady Tiger basketball coach Faye Baker said. "If they give her a tryout there is no doubt in my mind that she’ll make the team because that is just the caliber of person she is. She gives 110 percent in whatever she does. Whatever area she decides, she’ll be a part of that program."
Jackson said she loves children and plans to study early childhood education. She said she may want to be a teacher or counselor.
"I just love the fact that the children are part of our future and I feel like it’s important that we provide a good root for our future," Jackson said. "I love children."
"It’s a new stepping stone in her life and she is moving on to bigger things in her life," her mom, Tosha Bell, said. "I felt like she was very strong in her decision and it suits her better."
"I’m proud," father Abraham Bell said. "That’s what she wanted and I think she’ll do well. I had no doubt because that is the type of person that she is. She has that drive anything she wants, she sets her mind to and she does it. I’m definitely going to miss her because she is the spirit of the house."