Recent high school graduate Collin Gwaltney, who ran both cross country and track for Bradley Central, will be continuing his running career at Tennessee Tech University in the fall.
Gwaltney, who scored a 31 on the ACT and graduated with a 4.0 GPA, was looking for a school with a good engineering program, and Tech checked that box.
“It’s a good engineering school, which is what I was really looking for. They offered me a pretty good scholarship, too,” Gwaltney explained.
Tennessee Tech’s cross country program is in the midst of a coaching search, but that was not something Gwaltney viewed as a negative.
“The coach from last year resigned at the end of track season, so they are in a hurry trying to find a new coach,” Gwaltney commented. “I’ve kind of had the experience of running without a coach, so I’m used to it.”
While Tech has no official men’s track and field program, Gwaltney added that the school does run in some collegiate track meets. Tech does have an official cross country program, and competes in the Ohio Valley Conference.
One of Gwaltney’s favorite moments from his senior season was the time he posted in the 1,600-meter run at the TSSAA Spring Fling.
“I was pretty happy with my 4:29 at state,” Gwaltney declared.
Former Bears coach Larry Cotton also held a fond place in Gwaltney’s memories.
“Some of my favorite memories are probably the crazy things Larry Cotton said to us while he was coach. He was a really awesome coach,” Gwaltney commented.
According to Bradley cross country coach Gary Baird, Gwaltney had an impressive senior year both athletically and academically.
“He was a state qualifier in cross country and then in track season he started off a little slow, but then he picked up and really got some confidence. He kept improving and brought his time down by 25 seconds,” Baird stated.
“Collin’s times keep coming down, so I think he’ll do real well at college. He’s a real student athlete. He had a high ACT score and was like third in his class — he won’t have too much trouble up there at Tech.”