When Scottsboro cross country runner Brady Thomas heard his head coach Luke Robinson talk about competing in the college ranks, it made Thomas want to experience that for himself.
“I always thought I’d just go to college just for academics,” Thomas said. “I heard coach Rob talk about the experiences of being a college athlete. I started to want to do that and started to see ways to become a better run.”
Fast forward a few years and Thomas is on the verge for doing just that.
Thomas has signed to run cross country for the University of Auburn-Montgomery, an NCAA Division II school that competes in the Gulf South Conference.
AUM began recruiting Thomas at the AHSAA Cross Country Championships last November after Thomas posted a 16-place finish (17:03.85) while helping Scottsboro win the Class 6A state championship.
“I met (AUM head coach Ryan Thompson) at the state meet and got to know him and I went for a visit (at AUM). I liked it there, my parents were comfortable with the situation there and that made the decision really easy,” said Thomas, who plans to major in computer science. “It’s definitely a great opportunity to test my skills at the collegiate level. I’m excited to compete at that level. It’s a privilege. There are a lot of good runners down there. I want to push them and want them to push me to be the best team we can possibly become.”
Thomas was part of five cross country state championships and two track and field state titles during his running career at Scottsboro.
The championships and accomplishments are memories Thomas said he won’t forget, saying his time with the program has been “awesome. I’m grateful for all those experiences and championships that we’ve been able to win. It all goes back to our culture and knowing what it takes. That culture rubs off on you and helped me to work hard. Without Scottsboro cross country, I’m not who I am now.”