Brandan Forsythe wasn’t sure how good of a track runner he could be.

Forsythe, who runs the distance races for the Orioles, struggled his freshman and sophomore seasons. He had the drive to get better, though, and turned it out that running cross country during the fall season was his ticket.

“You need the endurance, and it turns and helps for the track season because you don’t have to worry about fatigue as quick,” Forsythe said about cross country.

Not only did that help, but now, Forsythe is a leader for both teams. And now, Forsythe’s extra running turned into an opportunity to run at college. After getting a couple offers, Forsythe decided to join Ottawa University and run for both sports next year. He signed a letter of intent Wednesday at Augusta High School to join the University.

“It’s pretty exciting. I never thought I’d really actually do this. I thought I was mediocre, but then I put in a lot of hard work in the summer, and it paid off,” Forsythe said.

Ottawa coach Kirk Wren first got a glimpse of Forsythe running at a cross country meet last fall. He said he kept up with his times throughout the season and felt Forsythe would be a good fit.

“He ran hard, he ran smart and he just has a good personality,” Wren said. “Good student, good person and a good runner. We like those combinations.”

At first, Forsythe was a little shocked by the offer, but after he talked to some of the Ottawa runners, he felt more at ease. He also had offers from Tabor, but decided Ottawa was where he belonged.

“This was more a family atmosphere. I actually felt more accepted and they want you to be there,” Forysthe said.

Steve Reichardt, who coaches Forsythe for both seasons, said he’s been impressed with the improvements he has made during his high school career.

“He’s very coachable, and he wants to get better. He’s willing to work hard, he’s willing to do what you ask him to do to get better,” Reichardt said.

Reichardt said being able to compete for both teams made Forsythe much more marketable to colleges. He also said colleges will like his leadership, something he enjoyed from Forsythe during the fall and will get again during the spring when track season starts.

“Being a leader, making sure we get through our workouts, make sure things are done right and to the best of our ability,” Reichardt said about Forysthe’s senior season.

Forsythe will study business administration.

His parents are Tim and Angie Forsythe.