ROCK SPRINGS — Few athletes get the opportunity to extend their athletic career. Rock Springs High School senior, Jayson Caudell, is one of those few athletes to get a shot at the next level. Caudell signed his letter of intent to run cross country and track and field at Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb.
Caudell ran a successful career at Rock Springs. In 2019, he was a 4A All-State runner. He also earned First Team All Conference twice as a Tiger.
Caudell’s track and field events included the 800, 1600 and sometimes the 400. Among his best records were hitting the 2:00 mark in the 800 and a 4:34 performance in the 1600.
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An Easy Decision
Several other schools were interested in bringing Caudell into their programs, but he never felt much of a connection during his recruiting trips. However, when it came to Chadron State, it was love at first sight.
“I was really excited,” Caudell said. “When I went on my visit, I just immediately fell in love with the school. It reminded me of coming back to Rock Springs High School in a college form because there’s better competition for running.”
With Tuesday night’s signing, Caudell now looks forward to getting to Nebraska and joining his “second family.”
“I’m looking forward to running with the team. On my visit we all went on a run and they were like my second family. It was just great to be there,” Caudell said.
Betting on Success
Caudell’s success while wearing orange and black is not only attributed to his own hard work and determination, but partly because of his head coach Brad Dekrey. The two formed a bond that motivated Caudell to reach new heights throughout his high school career.
Dekrey, who stepped down as the head outdoor track & field team in July 2019, was one of eight coaches to receive the 2019 National Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year award. Based upon Caudell’s comments, Dekrey rightfully earned that award.
“I can’t thank Dekrey enough for everything he’s done. For all of our little bets we have,” Caudell said.
According to Caudell, the longtime coach and mentor would place many bets with him before his events. He found these bets to be a unique way of motivating him. In one distinct memory, such was the case for the Tiger runner.
“My favorite memory is probably when we went to BYU my junior year and I PR’d in the mile,” Caudell said. “He told me if I got anything below 4:40, which I ended up running a 4:34, that he would wear my socks. So he ended up wearing my dirty socks I had so that was pretty funny.”
While Caudell’s bets may no longer center around dirty socks, there is one bet that he is ready to make.
“I’m ready to compete at the next level,” Caudell said.