Fort Frye runner Justin Anderson goes by ‘Beddy’

BEVERLY — “It’s a dumb story.”

Justin Anderson smiled as he explained why he was addressed the moniker “Beddy” by his Cadet track and field teammates Wednesday evening at the final Pioneer Valley Conference Championship at Fort Frye Cadet Stadium.

The senior long distance running standout had just finished first in the 800 in a clocking of 2 minutes and 3.18 seconds.

Catching his breath, Anderson continued, “When we lived in Columbus during the week I was born, my brother Jeremy was walking to the gas station, and there was this drunk guy, and he said, ‘What’s up, beddy?'”

Anderson paused.

“He didn’t say buddy,” Anderson said. “So, Jeremy came home and said to me that I was his little beddy. Ever since then, everyone calls me ‘beddy.'”

Ah-ha. That explains that.

Well, Beddy had himself quite a PVC meet.

Earlier, Anderson had won the 1600 in 4:44 flat. And, later in the meet, he captured the 3200 in 10:41.57 and was the leadoff leg on the winning 4 by 800 Fort relay team (9:23.59). Also on that relay team were Jon Garvin, Jevin Ward, and Braden Lipot.

Overall, Anderson took home high point honors for the boys with 26 points. The Cadet boys finished runners-up to Shenandoah, 129-112.

“I’ve watched him develop into a great runner,” said FFHS long distance running coach Jason Lipot. “He’s been running healthy this year.”

Lipot was also Anderson’s cross country coach.

“At Broughtons two years ago,” Lipot recalled, “there was someone in the way on the course, and he slipped down. And that kind of got him all messed up.”

Even with that fall back then in Marietta, Anderson still won the cross country race in 16:43.60.

“He’s been running well this year, and he’s got a chance to be All-Ohio,” Lipot said. “He’s been really focused and driven this year. We’re going to move on to districts after this. He wants to break the school mile record.”

Currently, Anderson’s brother Jeremy holds that record (4:28).

Next week (May 14 and 17), Fort Frye will be competing in the OHSAA Division III District Tournament at St. Clairsville High. There, Anderson is expected to run in the 1600 and 3200.

“I think when Justin gets to the regional, he’ll stick with the mile and drop the two-mile,” Lipot said. “We’ll see. We might try to double up, but that’s tough to do in the Massillon-Perry region.”

Lipot paused.

“That regional took out Mary Kate (McElroy) who had the sixth fastest time that night and didn’t get in,” the coach continued. “Justin’s up against the same thing this year. But we have help.

“State will take the top two next fastest times. They take the top four in every region, and then they’ll take the next two fastest times. Right now, the top four runners in the state are in that region. And Justin has the sixth fastest time. There’s a couple of kids who may drop the 2-mile. Who knows. You’ve just got to take what the day gives you, I guess.”

As for Beddy’s future…

“I’m going to take a year off and just work,” Anderson said. “I got to get healthy again. I have a slipping rib syndrome where the rib just pops out.

“I want to get healthy and fast, be mature, and then I’ll be ready for college.”

Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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