Nigel Bethel tore it up today, running very respectably against a host of collegiate and elite athletes including a windy 10.46 100m and US #2 all-conditions 21.01 (both wind aided).
He's had quite a run this past year. In the 2013 state meet, he finished second in the 200 with his BTW team just a point off of the 2A state title in a legandary battle to the 4x400 against Lakewood. He legally changed his last name from Patten to Bethel. He went through a whirlwind of national recruiting interest as an ESPN ranked cornerback recruit. He rode the wave with his Tornadoes football team all the way to the state championship--defeating Bolles for their second 2A title in three years and winning the de facto "national championship" in the process. Since July he had been committed to stay at home for college at the U, but in January flipped and committed (and later signed) to go to Lubbock TX to compete for Texas Tech.
Now this track season is shaping up to be his best yet, as he looks for some big goals headed into the second half of his senior season.
We asked Nigel a few questions about that, about his season so far, and looking forward toward the state meet and Texas Tech next year.
Q&A Session with Miami BTW's Nigel Bethel
Nigel, what a year you've had so far! With more than a month left go to in the season, you're already way ahead of where you were a year ago. What do you attribute that to?
I used my stats and times from last season to strive for even better this season, i want thank my coaches Tim Harris Jr and Greg Barnes for believing in me and staying on top of me. My team mates also we compete in practice like it's a real track meet.
Today at the University of Miami, you ran against a host of collegiate and elite athletes. What was that experience like for you? You beat Johnny Dutch!
It was a great experience, I told myself to be considered one of the elite you have to beat the elite guys. ... I'm the only high school athlete there. I ran against a dude named Harry Adams. He ran a 10.06 and a 20.71, but his PR in the 200 is a 19.9! Great experience though!
Last season took a break between GMACs and Districts. Was that due to an injury, just training through, or what happened?
I took a break because coach just wanted us to train and get ready for district regionals and state.
You've been tearing up the 100s this year, to go along with your signature 200m. What made you decide to shift down from being a 200-400 runner to being a 100-200 runner?
I told my coaches I think I'll benefit better in the 100 than 400 because it's tough running the 200 after the 400 but after all the training I been doing this year. I think I can run the 100,200,400 every meet.
After committing to the University of Miami last summer, you started to entertain some offers and make visits to other schools. I know you had interest in UGA also, but in January you withdrew your commitment from Miami and ultimately signed with the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. What made you change your mind and decide it was time to leave home and get out of Miami?
I changed my mind and decided to sign to Texas tech because the opportunity for me to become a man and network with different people was a once in a life time thing, they have a superior track team and football program so that played a big also I feel like I can get my degree in sports administration there.
As a star cornerback, one of the tops in the country, where do you rate your commitment or love as far as track versus football?
I love both football and track equally, I actually didn't start doing sports till high school. After a nice football season and track season as a freshman I fell in love with both ever since.
I hear that Texas Tech is going to allow you to do both sports. Is that true? What have the coaches told you?
Yes their going to allow me do both football and track, I told to my head coach Kliff Kingburry and the track head coach Wes Kittley.
What are your goals for the rest of this season?
My goals for the rest of the season to will the 2A state championship as a team, and individually I want to run 10.3 in the 100 and 20.8 in the 200.
What are you looking at longer term hopes and dreams in the sport?
Long term hopes and dreams in this sport I want to run in the Olympics some day and also play football in the NFL. I keep my faith in GOD so I know it'll come true.
Thanks a lot for your time!