Track trio receives scholarships

Published 12:03 am Saturday, June 11, 2016

RESERVE — When they graduated from East St. John High last month, Bryan Cain, Deandre Milton and Jirah Brown weren’t sure about their futures.

All three planned to go to college, they just weren’t sure where — or how.

Thanks to local track coach Mark Creecy, Cain, Milton and Brown have found a new path after receiving college scholarship offers.

Cain, who specializes in the 800 meter dash, the 1,600 meter run, steeplechase and cross country running, will attend the University of Mobile.

Milton, who runs the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes and all relays, will attend Meridian Community College in Mississippi.

Brown, who is a hurdler, also will attend Meridian Community College.

All three were encouraged to participate in track by Creecy when he was a coach at the high school. He spotted Cain, with his small frame suitable for running, during a P.E. class.

Milton, he said, had long legs and speed. Brown was a cheerleader with long legs and potential, according to Creecy.

“He had been trying to get me out for track since I was in middle school,” Cain said.

Brown was a cheerleader with natural athletic ability and legs suitable for hurdling, Creecy said.

Creecy said he’s always looking for potential athletes.

“A lot of the kids I have, I’ll see them running and I’ll say, ‘You should come out for track,’” Creecy said.

“It took a couple of years. Cain had the frame and he was real active. When he came out, he started as a sprinter then we said he’d be better suited for distance. The rest is history.”

Creecy, who leads the St. John Legends Track Club and has an ever-growing network of college coaches in his orbit, is always ready to help local athletes find a place to continue their education as well as their track careers.

“As it was getting later in the season, they didn’t have a place to go yet,” Creecy said. “They called me and asked if I could help them out any way.”

Cain has posted a time of 2:04 in the 800 and 4:53 in the 1,600. His best cross country time is around he 16:40 mark and his best steeplechase time is just above 7:20.

Milton has posted his best time of 22.33 in the 200, 11.2 in the 100 and 50.7 in the 400.

Brown, who was the only East St. John track athlete to qualify for the State Meet in May, has put up a best time of 15.90 in the 100 meter hurdles and 48.92 in the 300 meter hurdles.

“It was hard learning how to do the hurdles,” Brown said. “It was hard to keep it going. It took me, like, an entire school year to learn how to do it. I think I fell at every track meet last year. I didn’t fall at all this year.”

If any of the three run with Creecy’s St. John Legends Track Club, or any other club this summer, and if they lower those marks, Creecy said their scholarship offers could get even better by fall.

“The way track works is, the better your times, the more money they can get,” he said.

For now, the three are looking forward to college and extending their track careers.

“I’m glad I can help my parents pay for my college,” Cain said. “I’m ready to go.”

Brown and Milton are  glad to have each other to lean on.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people,” Brown said.

Said Milton: “I’m just looking forward to a better life in track.  I just like running. There’s just something about it.”