By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(May 4, 2014) – Stone Bridge High School senior Brady Guertin has committed to continue his running career at Radford University where he will compete for the varsity cross country and club track and field teams starting in the 2014-2015 school year.
“It feels great being committed to college. Ever since I was a freshman my goal was always to run in college,” the 5-foot-6 Guertin said. “Now that I have this opportunity, I’m so blessed and excited to fulfill my dreams of being a DI athlete. I really am looking forward to it.”
The Division I Highlanders will be under the tutelage of Brent Chumbley who in the fall will enter his eighth season as the director of the cross country and track and field programs at Radford. However, Guertin noted the coach that secured his commitment was current first-year cross country coach Mackenzie Wartenberger.
“I loved how enthusiastic, motivating and supportive coach Wartenberger seemed when I had talked to her,” said Guertin who will run the 8,000-meter and 10,000-meter cross country races for the Highlanders. “I also really liked the guys on the team and their work ethic and personalities.”
Loudoun Valley High School graduate and Radford senior Chris Weeks led the Highlanders to their highest finish of their 2013 season on Sept. 13 when they finished in third place at the Asheville Cross Country Carnival. Next year, Guertin will try to fill Weeks’ void when he becomes the sole Loudouner on the Highlanders men’s team. Freedom High School senior Callie O’Connell will join the women’s team in the fall.
“I hope to add to the Radford cross country team my leadership and work ethic. My class is supposed to be the base of rebuilding the program, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Guertin as five of the ten Highlanders are set to graduate this spring. “It seems like a school very similar to what I had at Stone Bridge: a team that started from the bottom and worked hard to have the season we did this year. I also will take a lot more of a leadership role come junior even sophomore year down at RU that I am looking forward to.”
Last fall Guertin padded his resume while at Stone Bridge, finishing tenth at the VHSL 5A state meet on Nov. 15 in The Plains, fifth at the 5A North region championship on Nov. 6 at Oatlands and two first place finishes at the Conference 14 championship on Oct. 30 at Oatlands and Loudoun County Public School Championships on Sept. 11 in Purcellville.
The Stone Bridge senior is also the Bulldogs’ record holder in the three-mile run (15:31.00) set at the Great American Cross Country Festival on Oct. 5, 3,200-meter (9:39.74) at the VHSL Northern Region championship on Nov. 2, 2012 and 5,000-meter (15:50.90) at Cassel’s XBC Track Experience on April 27, 2013.
Born in Washington State, Guertin has the opportunity to run when he joined the track club at his elementary school when he was in the fourth grade.
“I never trained or focused on it as a sport until freshman year after my dad had told me to go out for cross country and to just see what happens and if I liked it,” Guertin said. “After freshman fall, I knew running was going to be my focus for the next four years of high school, and it paid off in the end.”
While his dad encouraged him to start running at a high level, Guertin stays motivated using his running role model Leo Manzano who won the silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London in the 1,500-meter.
“Manzano is small and stature on the outside but gives his all to dominate and make up for his height deficiency. He has inspired me to keep pushing and working hard to get the job done,” Guertin noted. “Of course, my dad – who was a college runner himself – has also been an inspiration to me throughout my career supporting me and encouraging me to work hard and go all in in every workout and every race.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!