Prep track: Bradshaw going to Western Carolina
By Jordan Honeycutt
SALISBURY — Alisha Bradshaw is coming off of her best season at Salisbury as a shot put and discus thrower, winning the 2A state championship in both events.
Her success has garnered Bradshaw a scholarship to Western Carolina, where she plans to major in accounting.
Bradshaw won the discus for the second consecutive year and is ready and excited to head to the mountains of Cullowhee and become a Catamount.
Bradshaw was able to take home the state titles, despite not having her best throws of the year. Her winning shot put was a distance of 39 feet, 7 inches. while her discus heave was 119 feet, 10 inches. She admitted she’s done better, including her recent efforts in the Midwest Regional.
“I’ve been doing track and field since I was 8, but I never really thought about going to college for it until this year,” Bradshaw said. “When I started doing really well, colleges called and Western showed me that they really wanted me.”
Bradshaw is walking into an excellent situation for a freshman. Western’s best thrower this year is a graduating senior.
“Their coach told me that coming in, I would be his best girl and that I would compete in all of the meets, so I’m happy and excited that I’m going to get right to work,” Bradshaw said.
Alisha said probably the toughest thing for her about leaving home for college will be the climate change she will face in the mountains.
“I’m definitely going to have to get used to that,” she said. “I don’t know about all of that cold and snow, but I’m sure I’ll be able to handle it.”
Joining Alisha on her signing day in the cafeteria at Salisbury was her mother, Gloria.
“Alisha has always worked very hard on her throwing and I am really proud and thrilled about her getting the chance to do track at Western,” Gloria said. “The coaches up there love her, and they all seem very nice. I think that is what Alisha and I liked the most about it.”
No doubt, the Catamounts feel like bankrobbers because after the season Bradshaw had just turned in, she is definitely a steal to be headed to the Southern Conference.
“I knew after going up there for my visit that it was the place for me, and I’m just so thankful to my coaches here at Salisbury for making me better and helping me to accomplish this,” Bradshaw said. “I’m going to work hard and hopefully continue this success in college.”
Bradshaw is grateful to her mother and credited her for her success as well as her coaches.
“I always told her to just find something that she liked to do and stick with it and get better and better at it and she has done that,” Gloria said. “I told her it would pay off one day and I’m glad to see that it has.”
The signing party definitely belonged to Bradshaw.
She never let the smile get erased from her face, even as Salisbury athletics director and football coach Joe Pinyan, an Appalachian State grad, was teasing her about her new status as a Catamount.