After running in last week’s state cross country meet, Plymouth senior Nathaniel Redden signed his National Letter of Intent to run cross country and track at Ashland University on Wednesday afternoon in the presence of his family and coaches.
Redden’s love for Ashland University started out on a different athletic platform, the wrestling mat.
“I have always felt like I wanted to do a sport in college,” Redden said. “I used to go to a wrestling camp at Ashland and I remember walking into their recreation center and seeing the trophy case. I just knew I wanted to go there and be a part of something. Ever since, it has been my No. 1 goal and dream to be one of those athletes competing for Ashland University.”
Head cross country coach Jay Follett, who also ran at Ashland University and his father, Mike Follett, was an assistant track coach for many years, admits Redden should see success at the Division II level.
“It is going to be competitive,” Follett said. “But I think he will continue to improve as he did this year. He went from running at the National Trail Raceway as a freshmen in 21 minutes to a 16:56 on Saturday as a senior. He went over and met with coach (Tom) Scott and I think that was the deciding point for him. He really liked coach Scott and got along with him well.”
The future Computer Science major with a minor in Cyber Security was a state cross country qualifier, Plymouth’s first individual since 1988. He will join a storied program at Ashland University and should provide an immediate impact for the Eagles.
“I think I am coming in at a good time,” Redden said. “There will be some older guys to learn from and look up to, but I am going to have an important spot in the years to come.”
He also admits there is a bit of a weight off of his shoulders and he can now focus on having fun for the rest of his senior year in high school.
“I am excited for the rest of my high school career with indoor and outdoor track,” Redden said. “I am excited for whatever happens in college. Overall, I am also relieved that I have this out of the way and I know where I am going to go. I feel more secure.”