Bears News · The Tortoise and The Hare


Sprinting Standout Evolving Into Distance Star

Photo by BRUCE BILLOW  DUAL THREAT North Royalton senior Taylor Badamo is the rare distance-sprinter combination athlete. She is looking to make it to the state cross country meet this fall.
Photo by BRUCE BILLOW
DUAL THREAT
North Royalton senior Taylor Badamo is the rare distance-sprinter combination athlete. She is looking to make it to the state cross country meet this fall.

Like many athletes, Taylor Badamo took up cross country as a way to stay in shape for another sport. When soccer didn’t work out for her, she wanted to make sure she still got to run enough to stay solid for track.

What she didn’t necessarily envision was becoming a standout in a sport the polar opposite of what she does the rest of the year.

Badamo was a regional-qualifying sprinter for North Royalton girls track team in the spring. Fast forward a few months and she’s looking to be a state qualifier for the Bears cross country team. It’s a transition not a lot of athletes can make because of the difference between the two events.

“Originally I did cross country to stay in shape,” she said. “Running 3.1 miles gives you this accomplished feeling after you finish.”

If the Bears qualify for the state meet and Badamo is part of the top seven who run in the final meet, she’ll have accomplished more on the long track than the short one. That irony is not lost on her.

As a result, Badamo was hard-pressed to answer the question: Is she a distance runner or a sprinter?

“I would say both,” she said. “In my mind, I’m still a sprinter, because I’ve always been a sprinter. But I like distance running. It’s a lot of fun.”

Having both skillsets doesn’t hurt, especially down the stretch of cross country races. All runners try to kick, but Badamo actually knows how.

“I know the correct form for sprinting, when a lot of other people don’t,” she said. “They just kind of speed up. But there’s a certain kind of way you have to run to run faster.

“After three miles, it’s really difficult to kick it in like that. I hear my coaches and teammates screaming at me and I just kick it in.”

Badamo finished 25th overall, second among Royalton runners, at the Medina Cross Country Festival last weekend. The Bears finished ninth as a team in the Division I race, which was won by Division II Cloverleaf.

Hopefully not too ominous of a predictor, three teams from the Medina District finished ahead of them and Brunswick, which likely will win the district, was not at the festival meet. That might not be the best indicator, though. The Bears were without several of their top runners at the Medina meet.

Badamo didn’t seem the least bit concerned and said the Bears’ eyes are focused on the last meet of the year.

“We always look ahead,” she said. “We’re very determined. We’ve gotten to states quite a few times. Last year I went with them as an alternate and this year I’m hoping to run in it. Our coaches always tell us to keep states in mind.”

Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 3:00 AM
Updated: 2:28 PM, Wed Oct 14, 2015
By TODD STUMPF The Post sports editor