Eddie Kepran Is Forcing His Dreams to Chase Him

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:00 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Right now Eddie Kepran is the best high school 800m runner in the state but if it wasn’t for an athletic hunger that starved year-round and a head coach recognizing a golden opportunity, Eddie would’ve never been a runner at all. You see, Eddie played basketball, then he met Track Coach Tom Deavers.

“Pretty much after freshman year, I was locked on track and Deavers was able to get me on and get me on the right path and then went to states my sophomore year, come out my junior year, hungry for more, experienced a little bit of an injury, sets me back, come in my senior year, I put in a lot of hard work this past year, put into states now and a scholarship to UF”, Eddie said.

Coach Deavers exclaimed, “As a coach you only get so many athletes that, what I’ll call our special. The thing I love about coaching him is all he does is what you ask him to do.”

But why is Eddie better than everyone else? Is it longer strides? Stronger lungs? Shorter shorts? No, it’s his will to win.

“Being able to go into a race and compete with guys and just like being able to go out there and say “yeah, we went through the mud and I came out on top”, it’s a feeling that puts me on top of the world”, Eddie explained.

That must be what they mean by runner’s high. The high didn’t stop when Eddie signed to run for the Florida Gators.

“It definitely boosted my ego. I walked into school the next day and looked at my buddy Carson and go “guess who got interested”, yeah I was getting all, I was pretty excited”, Eddie excitingly described, “After a few days of being on cloud 9 I look at myself and go Eddie, you’ve still got to work for it, so get back to work. You know, there’s a reason why they’re interested, because you put in this hard work so keep going.”

“Florida is the defending national champ in track for women and men. I think the facilities down there were just astronomical, so the additional things he’ll get access to mount up to having a very successful career in college”, said Deavers

But before Gainesville, Eddie had to take his talents to Jacksonville, for this year’s State Meet, to run in the 800m race and run well.

“I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’m going to go out there and do, I’m just going to execute and have fun most importantly… and you know, hopefully win”, Eddie said.

And win he did. Last Friday, Eddie won the state title in the 800 meter with a time of 1:53:55; a full minute faster than second place. And now, it’s time for Eddie to sprint into a new leg of his race. So congrats and good luck to Mr. Kepran as he heads to Florida.