PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Good Hope’s Derrick signs with Wallace State

Back row L-R: Coach Deanna Chiaranda, Coach Megan Stripling & Coach Matthew McCulloch. Front row L-R: Paul Derrick, Rudi Derrick and Christie Derrick. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – Tuesday was a special day at Good Hope High School as friends, family, teammates, teachers and coaches gathered to help one Raider celebrate the next step in their athletic and academic career. Rudi Derrick just wrapped up her high school cross country career at the state meet last weekend but took the first step toward her college career Tuesday by signing her letter of intent to join the Wallace State Lions and Head Coach Stan Narewski.

Saturday was a wet, rainy day at the AHSAA State Cross Country Championships in Moulton and conditions were not ideal for running but Derrick posted a personal record (PR) time of 20:46.23 to place 12th in the 4A Girls’ race and earn All-State honors.

“It was really exciting. I wanted to PR because it was my last meet and I really wanted to make All-State and get in the top 15. I knew the conditions were awful and it was pouring down rain,” Derrick laughed. “I was soaking wet and almost nobody ran a PR, so I was really proud of myself to be able to do that. I just tried to give it everything I had.”

Derrick’s relationship with Wallace State and Narewski didn’t begin with cross country. Derrick was seeking advice to help with her track & field performance when she and Narewski realized that she was a talented cross country runner as well.

“We started talking to them last year during track about how to get faster for track because my dad actually ran for Coach Narewski in college. He tried to help me out with that and then he suggested that I run cross country because he said if I could run that far I’d be able to run two laps faster,” Derrick said. “So, I started running and he said if I could run a 24 that would be really good and I ended up running a 22 so then he told me if I could get it down to a 21, he would be really interested in me. He really is a great guy, he’s so sweet and he was so caring, and they just called me and offered me. It was really nice.”

Rudi is going to miss all the friends she has made and all the support she has received in school over the years but she’s also looking forward to chasing some of her collegiate goals too.

“I’m really going to miss the family atmosphere here at Good Hope. Everyone is so supportive, especially in cross country. Even if you don’t know someone that’s standing by the line where you’re running, they’re going to be screaming and cheering for you. I just love how supportive Good Hope is,” Derrick said. “I’ll miss all of my friends and all the memories I made but I’m really excited to run too. I know they have a summer program I’m going to get started with and I know we have a bunch of girls that they’re recruiting that are really good so we could potentially win nationals next year.”

Copyright 2022 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.