Whether cooking up fast times on the track or cooking up a meal at home, Pine Bluff’s Patrick Grady is a competitor.
Grady used that competitive nature to earn a scholarship with Central Arkansas, signing his paperwork on Friday in front of his mother and siblings and Pine Bluff track coach Laydell Jordan at the Pine Bluff High School media center.
“I am very happy for him,” mother Sylvia said. “He told me early on that I wasn’t going to have to pay for him to go to college. And I believed him. When Patrick sets his mind to something, he doesn’t stop until he gets it.”
Grady even challenged his mother to a cooking contest, which he apparently won based on the response of his siblings.
“He said he could cook better than me,” Sylvia said. “So we had a contest and even though they said I was the best they were eating off his plate.”
Jordan said Grady earned his scholarship.
“There are not many athletes who come to practice every day ready to work,” Jordan said. “One thing I can say about him is he wasn’t going to miss practice. And when he came, he was ready to work. I couldn’t put too much on him. There were times I thought I gave him too much. He just asked for more.”
Grady worked hard in high school to lower his times as a distance runner. He excelled in the 1,600 and 3,200, culling his time down to as low as 4:07 in 1,600. He faces the challenge of competing at the next level, leaving the high school competition behind.
“When I started here, everybody was equal or better than me,” Grady said. “I just have to get there and work hard to be equal or better than everyone there.”
Grady accredited his mother and Jordan for assisting his success.
“I want to thank God for making me how I am,” Grady said. “He made me competitive and want to compete all the time. He gave me endurance. I want to thank my mom too. She paid for shoes, brought me to practice and bought me the gear I needed.”
The relationship Grady and Jordan established in high school will carry over into college.
“I guarantee you my phone will ring off the hook,” Jordan said.