Bedell running on next level

Mike Bedell, an Elk Lake graduate, is a freshman cross country/track runner for Campbell University in North Carolina.

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

Former Elk Lake High School standout runner Mike Bedell has moved up to the next level, competing for an NCAA Division I cross country program.

Bedell, 18, of Lawton, is a freshman at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., competing for the Camel team.

MIKE BEDELL

The Camels recently competed in the Big South Conference Preview, where he placed 40th overall at 28:21, the seventh Campbell Camel to finish. Earlier in the week on Sept. 9, Bedell finished 25th overall at the UNCW Seahawk Invitational.

Bedell’s team is currently in the midst of a heated conference race, hoping the help Campbell’s Camels finish in the top three.

However, Bedell said it has been a challenge for him to go from being a top runner in high school to having to work his way back up.

“I thought I would come in and race better from the start,” Bedell said. “It’s a big change for me. I haven’t finished in the top 25 of a race yet.”

Bedell said that he has been working hard, and trying to get used to the increased distance.

“I’m not used to running five miles in a race,” Bedell said. “By the end I’m tired, and that’s when the older guys are hitting their stride.”

He isn’t discouraged, and Bedell hopes to crack the 26 minute mark on the 8K race by the end of the season, and finish in the top 30 at the Big South Conference championship.

The goals for the Camel team are to finish strong and place in the top of the conference.

“We have three big races left,” Bedell said. “On Saturday, we will be going against some big schools like Duke, University of North Carolina and University of Georgia. It should be a great race.”

Bedell is majoring in exercise science and said he is adjusting well to college life at Campbell.

There are several local runners who are also running at the collegiate level:

Former Tunkhannock Tiger Jeremy Stonier, a 2010 graduate, is now a sophomore on the Keystone College cross country team, while 2011 Lackawanna Trail graduate Justin Clarke is a freshman on the team.

Ryne Carney, a 2009 Elk Lake graduate is running for the Bucknell University.

Elk Lake’s Ellen Squier is a senior at Philadelphia Biblical College running for the cross country team.

Blue Ridge graduate Allison Hall, a 2011 graduate, and Laurie Hall, a 2008 grad, along with 2009 graduate Megan Kleiner all run for the California University of Pennsylvania cross country team.