COVINGTON, Ga. — When people start talking ‘fastest athletes in Georgia,’ Alcovy track coach Ricardo Branch says it would be a mistake to overlook Quindrelin Hammonds.
Fresh off a home stretch of the track regular season that saw Hammonds set the Alcovy school record for the 100 meters (10.62 seconds) at the NewRock meet last month and capture the Region 3-AAAAAA championship in the 200m (22.65 seconds) as well as the 100 (11.08 seconds), Branch doesn’t hesitate to put Hammonds in prestigious company.
“He’s like another Elija (Godwin),” Branch said, making reference to Newton senior and Georgia track signee and defending state champion.
“Same sort of class. Same kind of athlete. Q took to football more than he did track, but if he put into track the same kind of effort and energy he did into football, he’d be even further along than he is now. He’s just that good.”
Of course Hammonds has his football future set as he signed a letter of intent to play at Army West Point back in February. He’s also planning to get on the track there as well. The accolades and awards he’s garnered this year — including helping the Tigers’ 4x100 relay team capture a Region crown — have deepened his love for the sport.
He still has a hard time seeing his own greatness on though. When he’s winning championships and breaking records, it seems pretty surreal — take The NewRock Meet for example.
“It felt great to go out there and set that record,” Hammonds said. “I really wasn’t expecting it. I just wanted to come out there and go great things. When I hit it and Coach told me, I was just proud.”
Branch says he’s always been convinced of Hammonds’ talent. But to see him take it up a notch and combine it with top-of-the-line leadership ability sometimes leaves Branch speechless.
“I mean, the kid’s future is amazing,” Branch said. “I just can’t find the words to even express how I feel about him. Next year he’ll be truly missed. He’s like a second coach out there. I can send him to places and he’s the other coach’s voice to other athletes. He’s a silent leader. He’s not very vocal. But he’s a silent leader. He leads by example and is always willing to pitch in and help.”
Hammonds said he’s humbled by the high praise and hefty comparisons heaped upon him.
“I know Elija and we’re pretty close,” Hammonds said. “Elija works hard, man, and I can’t take nothing from him, and for me to be put up there with him in any way is a blessing.”
But make no mistake. Hammonds’ humility isn’t the same as self-doubting his abilities or ignoring his successes.
“It’s all just motivation,” Hammonds said. “It’s all about hard work I want to be better at everything I do. I’m looking for bigger things in my future. I just want to be the best that I can be in whatever I do.”