By Ryan Kaczmarski
Bay High School star distance runner Maddie Britton will continue her running and academic careers this fall at Xavier University, in Cincinnati.
“I really wanted to compete at the Division I level, so that was a determining factor in narrowing down my college search,” Britton explained. “I also knew that I wanted to major in nursing, and Xavier has a direct-admission to their program, which is very reputable.
“I also wanted to make sure I had a good relationship with the coach, and I liked (head coach Ryan Orner). I just have a direct connection with the teammates and felt comfortable on campus.”
She also visited The Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, Butler and Pittsburgh, with Xaiver being the last visit on her recruiting tour.
“I could see myself going to any of those other schools, but when I went to Xavier, it just clicked,” Britton said. “I just knew it was the school for me.
“I, basically, went as far away from home without leaving the state of Ohio.”
The decision on choosing a school was left to her, with little influence coming in from friends and family.
“My parents said, ‘This is your decision, do whatever you want with it,’” she said. “My coaches just wanted for me to end up where I wanted to be.”
“Maddie has worked so hard all four years at Bay, and she deserves (the scholarship),” Rocky River cross country coach Danielle Harkins said. “It makes us proud that she achieved her goal of running in a Division I program.”
“She also worked so hard at picking a college,” Rocky River cross country coach Anne Ashley added. “She really spent a lot of time thinking about where she was going to go – visiting schools after meets – and I really think she’s going to be very successful at Xavier.”
In 2012, Britton finished in 10th place at the Division I cross country state championships, and in 2013 she finished in ninth place in the Division II state finals.
During her sophomore year at Bay, Britton started training at Synergy Strength Systems, located in Rocky River, under the tutelage of coach Matt Linnevers.
“This is amazing, especially after seeing her for the first time two and a half years ago – where she was physically – and the incremental improvements that she has made progressively,” Linnevers said. “Her work ethic is second to none.
“It’s great to see something come to fruition like this, with her successes becoming greater and greater.”