CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern's Braxton Drummond has put together a storybook senior season. Classmate and triple jumper E.J. Reddick has enjoyed a front-row seat for Drummond's school and Big South record shattering performances. Reddick prefers a different type of genre for trying to encapsulate Drummond's exploits.
"It's like watching a movie," said Reddick. "At first, you see him able to do stuff in practice but it doesn't really correlate. Then when you actually see him come out there and do it in a meet, it's just like 'wow.'"
Drummond and Reddick will look to wow in the jump pit as they lead CSU at this week's Big South Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships; hosted by Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Competition begins Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and continues through Thursday, with all events airing live on the Big South Network.
Drummond deservedly collects most of the accolades for coach Roosevelt Lofton's Bucs, but Reddick is a stellar following act. Reddick is seeded first in the triple jump, with his 15.63 meter mark at April's Florida Relays ranking 21st in the NCAA East Region. He needs a top-12 mark to earn a spot in the NCAA East Regionals at month's end.
Reddick's goal is 16 meters or higher, a distance he's reached before while fouling. The Greenville, S.C. product believes he is capable of going past that mark in part because of good health. Injuries to his hamstrings, back and knees, along with a turf toe ailment, have plagued him throughout his college career.
"Just being healthy (has been huge)," Reddick said. "I haven't actually had like a completely healthy season since I've been here. Being able to just be healthy has been great – to be able to go through practices, train and compete with the big fellas."
Reddick has also competed in the long jump, 200-meter dash and 4x400 meter relay during his career. His mark, though, has been made in the triple jump. Reddick did not run track until his senior year at Mauldin High School and did not initially like the event, but has since gained an understanding and knack for it. He will take to Liberty's Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. to take a swing at the league championship. The triple jump is the final scheduled field event of the championship.
"The preparation is not really any different from any other meet," Reddick said. "Only thing that's probably different is the motivation, maybe, because I have more motivation to win conference because I didn't go to indoor conference because I was hurt, I didn't go last year either. The year before that I was hurt so this is my last chance to actually be healthy and win the conference so that's pretty much my motivation."
In addition to Reddick and Drummond, CSU has four other athletes among the Big South's top-six in their respective events. Below is a synopsis of where they stand as CSU looks to cap its regular season on a high note in Lynchburg.
Event (Rank in Big South/Result - Event at which mark was established)
Braxton Drummond: 1st - 8.10 meters (Hurricane Alumni Invtl.) #1 mark in country
E.J. Reddick: 1st - 15.63 meters (Florida Relays) #19 in NCAA East Region
Joshua Paramore: 4th - 10.54 seconds (Charlotte 49er Classic)
Kaishon Murray: T-5th - 10.56 seconds (Campbell Invtl.)
Braxton Drummond: T-7th 10.57 seconds (Charlotte 49er Classic)
Kaishon Murray: 4th - 21.58 seconds (Miami Hurricane Invtl.)
Joshua Paramore: 5th 21.59 seconds (Florida Relays)
4x100 Relay Team – 4th - 41.19 seconds (Florida Relays)
Jared Watkins: T-3rd - 2.01 meters (Florida Relays)
Jacob Moore: 6th - 49.17 meters (Hurricane Alumni Invitational)