PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State University (SSU) continued in its acquisition of local athletes last week, as another high school athlete from Scioto County decided to stay home to continue their athletic and academic collegiate career. Tyson Trinidad officially announced his intent to stay in Portsmouth, and attend SSU as a track and field student-athlete.
The Portsmouth High School senior accepted an offer from SSU Thursday evening in the library at the high school, formally becoming one of the newest members of Shawnee’s incoming freshman class.
“They have a great coach, and it seems everybody knows him and loves him,” Trinidad said. “Everybody I’ve talked to loves to run for him, and they have a really great recruiting class this year. They have a ton of great freshmen coming in.”
Trinidad found the decision to choose Shawnee very easy after hearing so many positive remarks about SSU head coach of mesn’s track and field and cross-country, Eric Putnam. Along with the high regard Putnam’s athletes have for him, Trinidad also liked all the young talent the university is bringing to the team.
“They just have a lot of really great people on the team, and coaching,” Trinidad said.
The soon to be SSU Bear gave high remarks about his cross country coach, Corey Culbertson, and his association with Putnam.
“Corey, he kind of got me where I am this year, and he ran for them (SSU and Putnam),” Trinidad said. “The whole culture is great.”
Trinidad said the whole signing process happened really fast, lasting only a few weeks.
After signing, the young runner acknowledged he will miss his friends he’s known since their time at the now demolished Roosevelt Elementary School.
“I’ve known everybody here since I was really little,” Trinidad said. “It’s like a family, and I’ll definitely miss them and everybody going their separate ways.”
Although he’ll miss his lifelong friends he has made while a Trojan, Trinidad is excited to further himself academically and as a runner.
“I’m going to get a really good education, and try to get better at running,” Trinidad said. “I like the prospect of doing both, you know, juggling both.”
The senior leadership Trinidad supplied will be missed by Culbertson.
“He was the lone senior on the team,” Culbertson said. “At times, when training would get hard, he would definitely try to lift the spirits up. At the regional meet, what I was most proud of, was he wasn’t our number one runner prior to that, but at the regional meet, he popped off and he ran the best time of his life, and he was the number one runner on the team that day. It was really cool to see him go out like that.”
Putnam liked Trinidad’s natural running form, and saw a lot of potential in the Trojan runner.
“I feel like since we’re expanding track, he is the kind of person who can come in, especially during the indoor and outdoor season and help me, even as early as last year,” Putnam said.
The relationship between the university and the high school has become further intertwined, which has led to making an easier transition for a Portsmouth athlete to decide to go with Shawnee.
“Their kids that run cross-country and long distance seem like they’re always over in our team room at our school, and they’re close to us, and subsequently we’re over at Portsmouth track right now training our track, so this is just our next step, that somebody from that program will decide to run with us,” Putnam said.
Putnam has already envisioned Trinidad being involved in several events in both indoor and outdoor meets.
Trinidad has yet to make up his mind on a declared major at Shawnee, but did say he was leaning toward education.
“I like kids a lot, so teaching sounds like a good prospect,” Trinidad said. “Other than that, I’m still undecided.”
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.
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