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HEBRON ESTATES – As a high school junior, North Bullitt’s Patrick Egnor had his future all planned out.
Egnor figured that his college future would include football, something he was doing well in at North Bullitt. By the start of his senior season, Egnor was the starting quarterback for the Eagles.
But as many high school students learn, things can change quickly as a teenager. Track, something he had dabbled in beforehand, began picking up speed late in Egnor’s junior year. As a senior, Egnor blossomed into one of the state’s top 400- and 800-meter runners.
Forget football. Suddenly track appeared as Egnor’s future.
Just a few weeks before his college career was to begin, Egnor accepted an offer from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Illinois to be his college choice.
“I was thinking football at first,” Egnor admitted after signing with Olivet Nazarene just two weeks ago. “That sort of changed after I placed at state.”
When it came to a post-high school future, Egnor had been thinking of the Air National Guard to help pay for school. Now, it will be ROTC at Olivet Nazarene. ROTC was not something Egnor did at North Bullitt, but it will be in college.
As is often the case now, the recruiting process began online. It began more based on academics and scholarship.
“I had never heard of them before that,” Egnor admitted. “After they contacted me I looked online and saw the track program. I filled out the questionnaire and they liked that and contacted me again.”
In the end, Egnor had some type of offer from Lindsey Wilson, Brescia and Campbellsville as well as Olivet Nazarene. His visit to the campus in Kankakee was the final tipping to the scale to attend the NAIA program.
“They were the first to offer me and eventually they offered me more moren than the others,” the senior said. “And then they have a wonderful new facility,”
The 18-year old son of Roger and Nicole Egnor is only going to run track at this point, but he is not ruling out trying to play football at the school down the road.
Patrick Engor is the middle of three sons in the family. His older brother, Ryan, who is 26-years of age now, played football at DeSales. Patrick was at North Bullitt for four years and his younger brother, Chance, is a junior football and baseball player at North Bullitt now.
Egnor is keeping his choice of a college major open at this point, but his is thinking along the lines of a major in marketing at some point.
As a junior, Egnor reached the state championships in Class AA in the 400-meter dash and finished eighth in that final race. He was also part of the North Bullitt 1,600-meter relay team that finish sixth in the state final.
That relay team included three seniors, leaving Egnor out of a competitive event for his senior season. He started 2013 doing well in the 400-meter event, but midway through the season North Bullitt head coach Mike Whitfill had Egnor competing more in the 800-meter races. By May, the longer race was his best event.
In one meeting during the season, Egnor won the races at 200-, 400- and 800-meters.
Egnor finished second in the Class AA regional event this spring and then at the state championships had the number two seed off the regional race, but he got into an early duel in the final and faded to fourth.
The switch from the 400 to the 800 was just a natural evolution.
“I know coach knows his stuff,” Egnor said. “Whatever he said I went with. He had a better opinion than me. When he said try the 800 I knew it would be tough but I would do it.”
As a senior, Egnor had a best of 1:58 in the 800, :51 in the 400 and :23 in the 200.
Whitfill believes that Egnor will thrive in the 800 at the next level.
“I think Pat will be a middle distance 800 guy,” the coach said after watching Egnor sign his college papers. “His ceiling in distance would be 1,500 meters. That’s a big jump for him. He’ll probably do some relays for them also.”
Olivet Nazarene has a new indoor track facility. The Tigers have one of the top NAIA track programs in the country, having produced the country’s top pole-vaulter at this point
“He will be solid,” Whitfill said. “He could compete for a conference championship in the 800 his first year. He works hard enough to do that."