Lash Bradshaw- One of Lake Sumter's best runners.
by. Angel Rodriguez
Today, Tuesday, September 12, 2023, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the Lake Sumter State College Cross Country runners, Lash Bradshaw. Lash Bradshaw is a sophomore student at Lake Sumter State College and is working to get his AA and transfer next year to get his bachelor's degree in business; also, he was awarded a scholarship to run on the Lake Sumter cross country team. Bradshaw and I talked about the student-athlete life, the future of his running career, the effect of coach Snellgroves on the team and himself, running with his brother, and other parts of his life as an athlete.
Bradshaw went to Lake Minneola High School, where he raced in cross country and track and played soccer since freshman year. In high school, he was one of the best runners on the track team, and in 2022, as a senior, he never placed outside the top 5 in the 10 4x800 races that he took part in; seven were 1st place finishes. In high school, Lash commented that he barely took the time to try and put himself out there to try and get into universities and keep running, with him not planning to run after high school.
During the summer between high school graduation and freshman year of college, he was invited to run for the cross country team by coach Cristy Snellgroves on a full-ride scholarship to Lake Sumter State College. He has been running for the school since September 2022 and has been doing so along with his identical twin brother, Tavin Bradshaw. Lash attributes his competitiveness and some of his success to being able to run with Tavin and having his brother alongside him to push him to run faster than him and edge him on the track.
Lash was sidelined with illnesses in his freshman year of running at Lake Sumter and did not run during this summer. He barely got to race much last year due to that illness, but it led to taking some much-needed time to recover from that and recharge himself. And the urge of being able to run again drove him to focus on other aspects of his physical health and conditioning to get stronger. This allowed him not to become frustrated with his situation and get his priorities of getting back stronger and better, clearer and possible.
Yet, he is looking forward to returning this year faster than before and hopefully returning to a version of his High School self and improving on that thanks to the help of coach Snellgroves and the work he put in this summer to get stronger and healthier. Coach Snellgrove, one of the best coaches he has ever had and one of the best coaches in the nation when it comes to cross country, is the person in command for our Lake Hawks; she has had a very experienced career in coaching, and her repertoire of coaching Olympic athletes like Noah Lyles. Also, in her youth, she had a professional career running for a while, and as Bradshaw commented, “her wall was full of medals”.
Lash talked about how Lyles and other famous Olympic athletes like Sha’Carri Richardson come to NTC to practice, and Lyles, whom Snellgroves coached, has helped train him and others on the team. Bradshaw says that Lyles holds runners to a high standard and trains athletes to push limits and get the best possible out of runners. Snellgrove's weekly extensive training schedule consists of extensive and intensive running every day, around 5 miles a day in different paces of speed to train for races. These factors led to Bradshaw having a big weekend this Saturday in his next race.
Bradshaw will race this Saturday around 7:00 a.m. At the Embry Riddle classic, which he last raced last year on the 17th of September, he placed in the top 60 among the around 300 people who raced that weekend. Lash will make the trip with the team, hoping to top the leaderboard and keep his success from his last race, in which he placed 23rd in last weekend—best of luck to Lash and his fellow Lake Hawks.