By Dave Dyer firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — After more than two years of college, Jared Reddy continues to contribute to the Methuen High cross country program.
Last summer, the former Ranger star did an admirable job of recruiting younger brother Jeff, a freshman, to follow in the footsteps of older brother Justin and himself.
“He wasn’t sure if he (Jeff) wanted to run in high school because of me and my brother,” said Reddy, a junior on the UMass Amherst cross country team. “Maybe it was too much pressure.
“This summer, I took him on some runs and really got him into it. Now he loves it. He goes through all my old results and tells me he’s coming after me. I think he has a lot of potential. He’s taller than me and getting better all the time.”
Reddy has been keeping tabs on his younger brother throughout the fall, but his main focus has been to get healthy again.
“I was doing really well in the summer, running in the 90-mile range and feeling great. Then school started and I got a hip problem.
“I had to take a week off and then I had to back off the training.”
As a result, Reddy has been playing catch-up ever since. After finishing second on the team in last year’s NCAA regional championships, he had visions of being the No. 2 or 3 man all fall.
Instead, he’s just recently moved up to No. 4, which was his position for the Minutemen in a disappointing eighth place finish at the Atlantic 10 championship.
“It was a bad race for us,” said Reddy. “Our No. 1 guy had to drop out because of back spasms, another guy dropped out and halfway through the race I fell down and turned an ankle. I was in the top 20 until then, but I had to just gut it out to the end.”
Reddy is hoping to be at near full strength for this week’s Northeast Regional in Connecticut and carry that over to strong indoor and outdoor track seasons. He was on two championship relay teams last year and ran the 1,500 meters in 3:56.
And next year in cross country, Reddy has high hopes for both himself and the entire team. All of the top runners will be back.
Hopefully, then, he’ll enjoy some of the same success he had both individually and as a team that he did in high school with the Rangers. But, even if that doesn’t happen, he has no regrets about being a little fish in a big pond.
“Everyone thinks that at some point who wouldn’t want to be the top dog? ... but I don’t think that way,” he said. “I’ve never regretted coming here. I love the competition and it’s much better to push yourself.
“Being at a large university is awesome. The traveling is great, you have everything you need to be successful and it feels first class.”
With a major in psychology and a minor in education, Reddy is ultimately hoping to be a teacher/coach with perhaps the goal of being a cross country and track coach. If that’s the case, with the way he enticed younger brother Jeff, he’s already off to a good start.
Family of J There is definitely a pattern with the Reddy family of Methuen. Parents Jennifer and Jeff have five children, all starting with the same initial. Oldest son Justin attends UMass Lowell, Jared is at UMass Amherst, Jeff is a freshman at Methuen while 8-year-old Jacob and 5-year-old Jenna are likely future Rangers. No word yet on whether they'll be cross country runners, but don't bet against it.