Running full throttle on the track

Posted on Monday, January 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

Raeshawn Bishop has a bright future in athletics following high school.

Raeshawn Bishop has a bright future in athletics following high school.

It’s Thursday, Dec. 26. It’s a cloudy and chilly day that will ultimately be overlooked, just as the day after Christmas is every year. After all, who really recollects what they do the day after the year’s biggest holiday?

But for Louisa County High School senior track star Raeshawn Bishop, it’s not just another day. It’s another chance. It’s a chance to sneak in one more practice at the track during the school’s winter break as he prepares for Louisa’s next competition. Nearing the end of one of the most illustrious track careers in school history, Bishop has discovered that the names that get remembered are forged in the days forgotten.

“He’s always here to give one-hundred percent,” track coach Jerry Cutright said as he stood by, watching his star pupil. “This is an optional workout, and he’s here working out. That says a lot as to what his dedication is to the sport.”

“I have a lot of people depending on me, so I need to do my best,” Bishop said in between stretches.

Those depending on Bishop haven’t been let down in his track career at Louisa. He holds the school record in the long jump (23’6) and tied the record for the triple jump (47’6). He was the indoor athlete of the year in the Jefferson District last year, and likely will repeat that accomplishment again this year. He also set the Louisa single-season scoring record last year.

“He’s a very versatile athlete,” Cutright said. “He’s without a doubt the best jumper that’s gone through here. He can do all the jumps.”

It’s a dominant career that began with Bishop tagging along to the workouts of his older brother, Jawaan, who was a key member of Louisa’s track team and graduated in 2011.

Bishop said he first realized his potential as an eighth grader, when his time in the 400 meters dropped four seconds in one year. Since then, Bishop said he enjoyed the individual challenge the sport offered.

“I love the environment, the people and the coach,” Bishop said, adding that other sports such as basketball had too much yelling for his taste. “I like days where I can just come out and practice.”

Yet, along with the personal dedication required, Bishop said he was drawn to the reward of experiencing success as a team.

“This is a team sport,” Bishop said. “We all work hard together. We work out together and we push each other.”

But as hard as Bishop may push his teammates, it’s difficult to argue that he pushes anyone more than himself. He participates in the school’s cross country season, which precedes the track season, to stay in shape.

Though he entered the program with his mind set on focusing mostly on the 400-meter events, Bishop blossomed into one of Louisa’s most well-rounded athletes, which he credits to the guidance of Cutright.

To read the entire story, see the Jan. 2 edition of The Central Virginian.

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