Harrell wants to leave lasting legacy

Published 10:55 pm Monday, April 25, 2016

Brandywine’s James Harrell has been focusing on making a lasting impression before he graduates. (Leader photo/File)

Brandywine’s James Harrell has been focusing on making a lasting impression before he graduates. (Leader photo/File)

James Harrell wants to leave his mark on a Brandywine boys track and field program that has had plenty of the success in the recent past.

The Bobcats graduated plenty of talent a year ago and the numbers are quite as high as usual. But there is quality there of the MHSAA Division 3 program.

Harrell, a senior, won the 1,600 meters in 5:06.75 and 3,200 in 11:54.96 and placed second in the 800 in 2:22.98 while helping Brandywine beat BCS Conference opponent Buchanan as well as LaLumiere (Indiana) while finishing behind Mishawaka Marian (Indiana) in a meet Wednesday, April 20 at Brandywine’s Marvin L. Selge Sr. Athletic Complex.

Working with distance and middle distance runners, Harrell wants to give back even while he’s still representing the maroon and gold.

“We’re just trying to finish strong in the (BCS) Conference this year,” Harrell said. “We don’t really have the depth to win it like we’ve had in the past. The being said, we do have a lot of good athletes that I’m trying to work with and really develop before I get out of here.

“I want to give them a good work ethic. That’s the most important thing to pass on.”

Bobcats coach Terry Borr has several members of the Class of 2016 who are doing the same kind of leading.

“Our seniors have been a part of four fantastic years of Brandywine track,” Borr said. “We’ve been really successful and these guys have been a big part of it.

“This year we’ve got some really good kids. We’re searching for where we can be strong and hopefully quality of the state meet. That’s what are dual meets are for. We try different kids (in various events).

“We want to get our program back. We had a couple of years where we didn’t get a lot of kids out and that hurts you. We have three sports (at Brandywine) in the spring (including baseball and golf) and we’re all competing for the same great athletes. When we can get them, we feel like we can have a really good program.”

This senior boys track class also includes Marquise Davis, Wyatt Eager, Caleb Horst, Austin Knapp, Michael Okayama, Dayan Schau, Garrick Thompson and Tyler VanLaecke.

Harrell, who was a captain as a junior, had personal-best times at the 2015 regional of 4:49 in the 1,600 and 10:26 in the 3,200.

“We’re one of the stronger regions for distance,” Harrell said.

In most meets, Harrell runs the 1,600, 3,200 and 3,200 relay. On Wednesday, he ran the 800 as a workout and gave another Bobcat a chance to run in the relay.

Harrell is super-familiar with his regular competition. The way the schedule works, he has ran against the same boys multiple times for four years.

“I like those guys, but you start to expect stuff,” Harrell said.

It will be familiar surroundings come regional time this spring because Brandywine will be the host.

“We do a pretty good job with our timing system,” Borr said. “We had a glitch last week. That’s why I don’t know what our scores were last week. We just ran for times.”