Rock Hill’s Brandon Hudgins headed to U.S. Olympic Trials
“I’m definitely on the upswing headed into the Trials. I’m not worn out, my body feels good as it’s ever felt, I’m as fit as I’ve ever been, I’m as fast as I’ve ever been."
By Bret McCormick, The Herald
Rock Hill’s Brandon Hudgins was hooked up to a chemotherapy machine during the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, watching the 1500 meter qualifying on television while poisonous medicine decimated his rebellious immune system.
Hudgins won’t be watching on TV this time around. In less than two weeks, he’ll compete in the 2016 Olympic Trials.
His mere presence in Oregon, given battles with the autoimmune disease, vasculitis, and an inability to train full-time until just three weeks ago when he quit his day job at a resort in the North Carolina mountains, is impressive.
“I wish I could say I was just so grateful to be there. It’s a huge accomplishment, I’m aware of that,” he said. “But I’m not happy with just making it, and that was not the plan. The plan is to get there and make a splash.”
Hudgins ran a 3:38.2 at Furman University earlier in June, the 16th best time in the country, and the fastest outside of the automatic qualification time of 3:37. He figures he’ll be seeded between 16 and 20 when the Trials begin and the qualifying dust settles. Still, it would have been comforting to hit the automatic mark.
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