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Bradsher Wilkins was Born to Run

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HILLSBOROUGH — This week's Extra Effort Award winner is Orange High School senior Bradsher Wilkins -- one of the best high school distance runners in the country.

Wilkins is the North Carolina state cross country champion and the state champion in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He is being recruited by colleges all over the nation.

Bradsher Wilkins is good, but he has worked hard to be good.

"The only way you are going to be the best is to work hard," Wilkins said.

"He is very self-motivated, and that has a lot to do with it," Orange assistant coach Dave Kirschner said. "He gets everything he can out of each workout, and that is very important in terms of his performance."

Wilkins comes by running naturally. His father, Jim Wilkins, ran for N.C. State in the 1970's, and was one of the ACC's best.

"[My dad] said that when I was born the doctor looked at my feet and asked if someone in the family was a runner," Wilkins said.

"Since he was very little, he's been a determined kid," Bradsher's father said. "When he started running for the first couple years, he was lackadaisical and having fun at it, but then he realized that he had some potential and the work started. That's when we knew he was going to be good."

Wilkins also excels in the classroom, where he maintains a B+ average.

"He brings everything to every part of his life," Teacher Gary Eichmann said. "He is the type of kid you might dream about. He was brought up with the right kind of values -- that you work hard for what you get in life. He knows to do that whether it is in school, or out on the cross country trails, or wherever it happens to be. I never have to say to him 'Is your work done?' because it is always done."

Bradsher Wilkins of Orange High School in Hillsborough is this week's winner of the Extra Effort award.

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Tom Suiter, Reporter
Tom Crichton, Photographer
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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