Troup High senior Drew Duram had on his Sunday clothes on Tuesday.
There was a purpose to it all. Duram signed a cross country scholarship with the Point University Skyhawks from West Point. Duram smiled. He signed, and he looked razor sharp. Duram was ready for this most special occasion.
“This is the biggest day of my life, and I feel blessed. I never thought I would get this far. But I have determination and will,” said Duram. “This scholarship means the world to me. Point has a growing (cross country) program, and I guess they saw the potential in me.”
Duram has been running cross country for the last four years for the Troup High Tigers. Duram has improved his time from 19:50 as a freshman to 18:02 as a senior. For the last three years Duram has been running out of the No. 1 position for Troup High School.
And Duram is a 7-day a week runner. The 18-yearold Duram runs at practice, and he runs on his own. He puts himself through his own workouts. Duram runs between 35 and 45 miles per week.
It’s not all fun. It’s work. Sometimes it’s a job, but cross country is something that Duram needs. It has become a part of his life – through the long workouts, the shinsplints and the painful final miles in his races.
“I want to get faster, and I can improve dramatically. I want to be the fastest freshman on the (Point University) team. I’ve got a passion for running,” said Duram.
Twice in his high school career Duram has been named the Most Outstanding Runner for the Troup High Tigers. Duram has come a long way in the past four years. He has gone from a runner that barely finished to a team leader.
Endurance is his middle name. And he likes to compete.
“Drew is a hard working kid. He gives 100 percent, and he uses every workout to make himself better. But in college Drew is going to run 8K’s and 10K’s (instead of 5K’s),” said PeterAnderson, the Troup High head cross country coach.
There is going to be a transitional period for Duram heading from high school cross country to collegiate running. Point University competes in the NAIA, and Skyhawks Head Coach Zachery Tyler thinks Duram is up to it.
“Drew could be a Top 5 runner (for us) as a freshman. He’s going to get better. I see potential and an outstanding student,” said Tyler.
Duram has a 3.7 grade point average at Troup High School. Duram makes good grades and good times out on the cross country course. And he doesn’t get lost. He doesn’t lose his focus.
“Sometimes I stay up to 12 or 1 o’clock (in the morning) studying. I’m a student/athlete. My schoolwork comes before anything else,” said Duram.
The Point University recruit is primed to make a contribution to the Skyhawks on and off the cross country course next fall.
“Drew wants to succeed. Nobody is going to outwork him,” said Rob Duram, the father of the Point University signee.
And the longer race, the better it is for Drew Duram.
“He’s done some halfmarathons, and he ran in the Peachtree race (in Atlanta). Drew does better in the long distance (events),” said Rob Duram.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer