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Yes, Pulaski County, we do have a male D1 runner!

By DAVID GRAVELY

editor@southwesttimes.com

 

VMI freshman Cade Compton is now a member of the cross country team.

With college athletics now up and running and high school sports scheduled to begin in mid-December, it’s hard to not get excited. With that excitement building, we still don’t have a lot to watch or cover at this point. When that happens, people start looking around and talking, hoping to find something … anything … sports related to cover.

 

That recently took me to Randolph Park, where I was able to spend a few hours covering rec league soccer action. Yes, it was the younger athletes playing. Yes, it was rec league. With that said, however, it was great to have a camera back in my hand again.

 

On one of those visits, I ran into a few parents who shared some very exciting news on a former Cougar standout. They were justifiably proud.

 

Cade Compton, who spent his time at Pulaski County High School playing soccer and running with the cross country and track teams, spent enough of his time at PCHS working hard in the classroom to land himself at Virginia Military Institute (VMI).

 

While simply gaining admittance to VMI is a big accomplishment in and of itself, Compton made the decision to take it a step further. He went out to give cross country a shot. Apparently his shot was good enough, as he has now landed a position on the Keydets roster.

Courtesy Photo – Compton performed well at his first collegiate meet in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

Making the team is a big deal, but since he’s going to be there, Compton apparently decided he may as well make some noise. In their first meet of the season, the Tom Scott Open in Charlotte, North Carolina, found VMI and Compton competing against UNC Pembroke and King College.

 

VMI ended up taking first place in the meet on the men’s side. Since he was there and ready to run anyway, Compton did what he thought he should do, taking 12th place overall out of almost 40 runners and turning in the 10th best time for the Keydets. He and fellow Keydet Andrew Himeisen were the only two freshmen in the top 15 and one of only five freshmen in the top 25.

 

Compton finished the 7.4-kilometer race with a time of 25:36, averaging 5:33 per mile.

 

While the Pulaski County track and field program has sent many athletes to the next level through the years, Compton is the first male athlete to make it to the Division I level for Head Coach Sirak Ogbagabir.

 

“Cade Compton is a testament to what we preach to our athletes in the Cougar cross country and track program,” Head Coach Sirak Ogbagabir said. “He was a typical freshman who was just figuring out how to manage the sport who worked and committed to the process over his four years for me. Cade has made the best of his opportunity to compete at the highest level in collegiate sports, which is as much of a success story as I’ve ever seen. We are proud of Cade and extremely impressed with his first performance as a VMI cadet.”

 

Several other current Cougar and Lady Cougar athletes are also getting serious looks from the next level.

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