By Zach Long
When asked about his college decision, NaDear Raymond said he wanted to go someplace big, a school where he could make a name for himself.
If he hasn’t already done that locally with an outstanding athletic career at Meadowbrook, he definitely has now.
Raymond, a sprinter and long jumper for the Monarchs track and field team, has signed his NCAA National Letter of Intent to run for the University of Clemson.
“He has committed to competing in track and field at the collegiate level since entering high school,” said coach Rickey Brown of Meadowbrook track and field. “He now has the opportunity to attend the university he loves [and] he will be able to compete in a sport he truly enjoys.”
For Raymond, his love affair with track started to grow roots early. It began when he started watching his older brothers’ meets when he was really young. Then when his time came in middle school, he took off.
Towards the end of eighth grade, Raymond started to realize his potential, running some quick numbers in the 100- and 200-meter sprints.
Those two events would continue to be his bread and butter through high school.
In high school, Raymond added the indoor 55-meter dash and the long jump to his repertoire. This past indoor season, Raymond began to “tap in to his potential.”
Raymond finished third in the 55 at the 5A South regional championship and proceeded to take seventh in the 5A State championship. Now, with the majority of his senior outdoor season yet to come, Raymond can turn even more heads before going down to the Palmetto State.
At Clemson, Raymond will be able to hone his skills and showcase them at a premier Division I college in the ACC. This past indoor season, the Tiger men’s team finished fourth in the conference.
Raymond originally narrowed his decision to Clemson and Florida, but chose Clemson because it is closer to home.
“As his coach, it’s very rewarding to see NaDear as an athlete accomplish his goals through continuous hard work, perseverance, and pure determination,” said Brown.
As Raymond still continues to improve at a high rate, he still seems to work just as hard as he did when he first started running in middle school. The sky is the limit for him at Clemson.