Before his seventh grade year, you would never have caught Dickinson’s Brady Yoder running for fun.
“I would never run at all before that,” Yoder said. “I mainly just played normal sports like football and basketball. I hated running.”
That all changed thanks to his older sister Elizabeth, who ran for Dickinson and currently runs for Augustana.
“Just watching her run, she really loved running and I was always so confused. I didn’t understand it at all,” Yoder said. “Just learning more about the sport from her and watching her different races, I started to really like it.”
Since Elizabeth shared her passion with him, Brady has become one of the best there is. At the Dakota Relays two weekends ago, he ran the 3200 in a time of 9:15.84, which shattered a school record that had stood for 40 years.
“When I talk to people and say hey, if you’re going to watch anything, watch him run, because you’re watching something special,” coach Jay Schobinger said. “For him to go break a school record that was set for us in 1978, it’s pretty impressive.”
This year, the expert distance runner is pushing himself by running in some shorter relays like the 4×200, and for a guy who’s used to running for at least four minutes straight, a relay is almost a foreign concept.
“That one gets me the most nervous. I don’t like that one,” Yoder said.
Even so, his coach says Yoder is willing to do whatever the team needs.
“We need you to run a relay right before you run the mile today. ‘Okay, not a problem.’ That’s the kind of kid he is,” Schobinger said.
Yoder used to hate the thought of running. Now, he can’t imagine his life without it.
“I come back every year and I’m just loving it a lot more,” Yoder said. “With the teammates we have, it’s just so much fun going to practice every day.”
In Monday’s WDA Freshman-Sophomore Meet, Yoder won the 1600 meter race by a 10 second margin.