Though Brad Krell ’16 has only recently arrived on campus, his moniker “the hammer” is well known amongst the members of the track and field teams.
Contrary to the implications of his nickname, Krell is actually one of the smallest members on the team — and one of the fastest.
In just five meets, Krell has made his presence quite apparent, turning in four top-three finishes, including first place in the 500-meter run, and the 4×200 meter relay.
A native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Krell began running track his freshman year of high school, and was a member of Cherry Hill East’s six-time New Balance National Championships team, as well as the first leg of the All-American super sprint medley relay team.
As a child, Krell enjoyed playing soccer, and described himself as “the kid they just put in there to run through the open space as fast as he could.” When he began running track, he was surprised to find he was not, in fact, as fast as he had imagined. But it was this surprise that served as the impetus for Krell’s diligence and persistence on the track.
“When I started I thought that I was actually faster than I was,” said Krell. “It got me started and kept me on track.”
By the time he had reached his senior year, Krell had found his way onto the 4×400 meter relay team, which captured second-place in the state championship meet.
Krell recalls the meet vividly, as his team clung to a one-point lead and stood one race away from the New Jersey state title.
“Our high jumper had just set the school record to win the high jump, so we took a one-point lead and it came down to the 4×400. The top two teams were us and East Brunswick; I was running anchor and I was up against the state champion in the 400 [meter dash].” We had the lead and then he caught me with about 100-meters to go, but we were close to a state title — that would have been nice.”
As Krell began the college selection process, he was certain of one thing — he wanted to continue running track. After ruling out his previous top choice, Carnegie Mellon University, Krell chose F&M for its reputation and campus life.
Here in Lancaster, Krell already has his sights on gold medals and national accolades, and hopes to help the team ascend to the next level.
“The goal for me is to be an academic All-American,” Krell said. “By the end of this year, we’re going to have won at least two conference relays. Long-term, I’d say that people should get excited for the track team here, because we have a bunch of young talent and some really good leadership to guide that talent. In a few years, if not right now, this team is going to be something to look out for, and I’m hoping it’s going to be the big talk of the school by the time I graduate from here.”
But Krell has found solace in more than just running itself during his transition from high school to college. Over the team’s Winter training camp, Krell forged closer relationships with many of the team members.
During his younger years, Krell idolized Steve Nash, a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Though he continues to be inspired by the South African born basketball star, he also looks up to fellow teammate, captain, and All-American hurdler Nils Michaelis ’13.
“He [Michaelis] is the type of person who you really believe when he talks,” Krell said. “In certain situations, he knows what the right thing to do is; he knows how to separate work and play, and he gets the job done. He’s a great guy, and on the track and off the track, he’s somebody to look up to.”
Though Krell is yet to undertake any extracurricular activities aside from running, he plans on volunteering in the local community. During the summer prior to his senior year of high school, Krell attended Impact Boston, a program which operated in collaboration with Spare Change News, a newspaper written by the homeless communities of large cities.
“I worked with a lot of people who were homeless, and heard a bunch of their stories,” said Krell. “That was a really eye-opening experience for me because I’m from suburban South Jersey and you don’t see that much of that in the suburbs. I really learned a lot and gained a lot from that experience. I plan on joining a fraternity in the fall, and I know that they do community service now and then. I’d be fine helping wherever I needed.”
Hoping to make a difference both on the track and in the local community, Krell has great expectations for both himself and the rest of the F&M track & field team. On Feb. 16, F&M will host the first-ever Coach I Open, where Krell will likely compete in the 4×200 meter relay, 4×400 meter relay, and 400-meter dash. The first-year is expectantly awaiting his first Centennial Conference Championship meet, and hopes to qualify for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) championships, and lead the Diplomats to a strong finish of the indoor season.
Questions? Email Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.