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Pursuing at Purdue: Former DHS athlete shines in Big Ten conference 

"I am working really hard here everyday and having lots of fun doing it,” Brady Yoder said.

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Former Dickinson High School athlete Brady Yoder enters top 10 in Purdue University's track and field program history.
Contributed / Brady Yoder
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WEST LAFEYETTE, I.N. — The North Dakota 2019 state cross country champion and former Dickinson High School athlete, Brady Yoder, is now making a name for himself at a Big Ten conference. Barely in his freshman year at Purdue University, Yoder has already achieved entry in their record books as the 10th fastest time in program history in the 1,500 meters.

Yoder's time at the Louisville, Kentucky, invite recorded at 3:47.70 on April 16.

For Yoder, this is only the beginning for his accomplishments, seeing his time in college much like one of his races where every second counts.

“Getting the opportunity to run in the Big Ten, being at this type of level is something I don't take for granted,” Yoder said. “Every day, it is great to step back and look at the opportunities here and all the resources. It is so exciting and you only got four years of it and so I don't want to waste a day here and I want to see what I can do and make the most of it.”

Having the chance to work with the revered head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach, John Oliver, was one of the defining factors for Yoder to pursue his education and athletics at Purdue. The other two variables were his peers’ positive attitude and the team culture practice at the institution’s programs.

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“I have a really great roommate who is super motivating and competitive too and the guys on this team are really awesome to work with everyday,” Yoder said. “We are all just trying to be the best we can be and trying to reach for the same spot. We all have that same goal as a team so everyone is driving for one big goal.”

As a team, they spend plenty of time outside of practice and competitions with one another. From exploring the college scene, to dining at different restaurants and eateries, Yoder noted that his experience in West Lafayette, Indiana, has been adventurous with his friends. Some of Yoder's spots that have become favorites include Westside Diner, Mary Lou Donuts and Chipotle.

“I am a sports fan and so is my roommate and a lot of the guys on the team are as well,” Yoder said. “We go to a lot of Purdue’s sporting events. That's pretty awesome because we get student athlete tickets and are a ton of fun… We are getting pretty excited about the NBA playoffs right now.”

Yoder left North Dakota with a list of statewide accolades to his name, including running the third fastest 3,200 meters and seventh fastest 1,600 meters times. He was also named NDHSAA Cross Country Athlete of the Year twice.

There is more than 1,000 miles between Dickinson, North Dakota, and Purdue’s campus in Indiana and though he misses his family and friends dearly, he is set on making them proud and the sacrifice of time worth it.

“I have enjoyed Purdue here. I mean Indiana is not too different from North Dakota. It's been great honestly,” Yoder said. “You don't want to be patient, you don't want to wait to see how good you can be… I am working really hard here every day and having lots of fun doing it.”

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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