Coach: Quattlebaum a ‘natural runner’

GREENVILLE – As a seventh-grader at Christ Church Episcopal, James Quattlebaum and his father were looking for an extra-curricular activity that might interest the younger Quattlebaum.

My dad gave me the choice to run cross country or play football,” James said. It didn’t take long for James to figure out which sport suited him.

I weighed 70 pounds and I knew I would get killed if I played football,” James said.

Three years later, James has developed into one of the top Class A cross country runners in the state. He placed first in the Region 2-A held at Christ Church with a time of 16:31 in the 5,000-meter runner, a performance that earned him male Runner of the Week presented by Go-Green Timing and On On Tri.

Fort Mill High’s Meredith Kilburn was named female Runner of the Week.

James’ cross country coach Rodney Adamee remembers when James set out on his first 5K run.

He was about four feet tall with an eight-foot stride,” Adamee said. “We coaches actually laughed when he took off like a bullet on his first 3-mile run.”

The laughing stopped, however, after James finished first in his first cross country meet.

He is the most natural runner that I have ever coached,” Adamee said.

James said running cross country with a small school like Christ Church pushes him to show what he can do against the larger schools.

Being in 1A, some people overlook us,” he said. “I want to show them that we can be just as good as they are.”

Though he’s still a few years from graduating high school, James said he is already thinking ahead.

I do want to run in college,” he said. His family has ties to Duke, but if he can’t get in there he would consider North Carolina or Virginia.

As for this season, James said he’s happy with the progress he and the Cavaliers have made heading into state next weekend.

We have put in more miles and everyone’s times have been dropping,” he said.

James said his goal for the season remains getting into the 15:50s or 15:40s in the 5K, and he sees at least a couple of opportunities to reach that mark.

I still have state and there’s a lot of good competition there,” he said. “I always run my fastest time at state.”

If he misses the mark at state, James said he could still get it at the Foot Locker South meet in late November in Charlotte.

It’s a really fast course and I should be able to get it there, if I keep up my training.”