By Rob Kiser
PLEASANT HILL — Newton High School senior Brady McBride admitted it was a tough decision.
The son of Pat and Tiffany McBride had nailed his college choices down to two.
It was either run at D-II Findlay or D-I Ohio University.
“It was tough because those are two very different schools,” McBride said. “It was kind of a choice of do I go to Findlay and become a big fish in small pond or do I choose OU.”
McBride became the first Newton athlete since Larry Shade to receive a D-I athletic scholarship Monday, signing to run for Ohio University.
“Ultimately, I think this is going to be the best decision for me,” McBride said. “I think it is going to benefit me the most. I think I still have a lot more in me (in running).”
McBride, who like his mother — who was his high school coach — and grandfather Cecil Jackson always enjoyed a passion for running, started with fun runs as a young boy and progressed from there.
“When I got in high school, I knew that was something I wanted to do (run in college),” McBride said. “The question was at what level would I be able to run at.”
McBride has answered those questions over the last two years.
After qualifying for a state as a junior, he set the CCC meet record this year with a time of 15:45 and went on to finish eighth at the state meet.
“To beat Clayton Murphy’s record,” McBride said about the former Tri-Village state champion who is now one of the top 800 runners in the NCAA while running for Akron. “It would be great if I could go on to have that kind of success as well.”
But, he has no illusions of dropping down to shorter events like Murphy.
“I will stick to the distance events,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t have that kind of speed.”
Tiffany McBride got to experience Monday’s signing with pride — of a both a coach and a mother.
“I am just so happy for him,” she said. “He has worked really hard.”
And she feels his best races are still in front of him.
“I am excited for him,” she said, “because this is the first time he is going to be able to focus on running. At Newton, he has always played basketball too. OU isn’t quite as strong in track, but Brady (McBride) is more of a cross country runner anyway. I think it is a great fit for him and they have a great business school.”
Something he took into consideration in making his decision.
“They have a really good business school,” he said. “That is what I am going to major in. I really liked the coach and the team. They have a lot of really good young, talented runners. I loved the campus when I visited there. I wanted to go there from the time I visited there.”
He knows it will be a change after having his mom coach him for four years.
“I know I am going to miss all the people here from Pleasant Hill and at school,” he said. “But, it is going to be a good experience for me.”
And he is not done at Newton — he is looking forward to basketball and then the track season this spring.
“I think we are gong to have a really good basketball team,” he said. “We want to finish at the top of the conference. I can’t think of a better way to go out. I made my college choice today, but I still have a lot of time at Newton and I want to make my senior year the best it can be.”
Before reaping the benefits of his college choice.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.