Ramey officially signs on to be Aquinas Saint
On Tuesday, Ramey signed his letter of intent to attend Aquinas College in Grand Rapids with the Saints’ Head Coach Dave Wood on hand for the ceremony.
Ramey quickly developed into a key member of the Emeralds’ track and cross country teams.
“Ryan has been a great asset to the MHS program since he started as a freshman,” stated boys’ Head Track Coach Mary Lou Lund.
He and fellow team members Bryson Lawrence, John Rahn and Robert Ayotte set the MHS school record in 2012 for the 3,200-meter relay. That year he also set the bar in the 400 meter run at 51.52 for sophomores.
He also holds the freshman record for the 800 meter run.
“Ryan was a distance runner taking first in all of his races,” said Lund. “He decided distance wasn’t challenging enough and decided he was going to run the 400 and that is what he has been working on for the last three years.
I feel he will be an asset to the Saints program and he will drive his teammates to be better,” she added. “I am very excited for Ryan and this is something he has wanted to do since the seventh grade.”
Pat Theut, a personal trainer who worked with Ramey, reiterated many of Lund’s comments.
Theut said he was invited to a junior high cross country meet by then-coach Dave Winkel who said Ramey was running and that he might be someone to watch.
“Coach Winkel said there may be an athlete you might be interested in,” said Theut. “He might have potential. Never wanting to pass up potential, I said OK to the invitation”.
Following the race, Theut said the two talked and their relationship grew from there.
“Let’s work together,” Theut recalled saying. “If we work together, you will be a state champ and then we will see if we can get you a college scholarship in running.”
For the last five and a half years, that is what they have been working on.
“Through his patience, persistence and perseverance, not giving up and not giving in, he is well on the path of progress and perfection,” said Theut.
A USATF Level II certified coach in the sprints and hurdles, Wood is in his 18th season with the Saints. Wood came to Aquinas after an outstanding 12-year stint as head coach at Ferris State University.
“Most of you may not have heard of Aquinas College before today, we are a small school in Grand Rapids and although it is a small, we run big time track” Wood said. “We are really excited about the opportunity to have Ryan join our program. We have a strong team coming back next year. We will be moving into our new indoor track facility this fall, so it is big times for us at Aquinas and I think Ryan is going to be a part of that next generation that is going to help us accomplish some of the things we have set forward to do.”
The Saints recently secured a top ten finish at the NAIA Indoor Nationals. In the final event on the track, the men’s 400 meter relay became the first quartet to ever record All American honors for Aquinas in one of track’s signature events; an event Wood is looking forward to Ramey participating in.
During the conclusion of the ceremony, Ramey remembered his first track and field experience while in the sixth grade when he ran the 70-meter dash in Gladstone.
“When I got to the end of the race, there was a rope,” Ramey stated. “It scared me at the time. I didn’t know you had to run through it so instead I jumped over it. I ended up finishing first but when I jumped I ended up in the wrong lane and was disqualified, that was quite a unique way to start my career. I got really serious about track and field in eighth grade and it has always been my dream to run at the collegiate level.”
Recent Emerald athletes to participate at the collegiate level include Mike Nagy (golf) at the University of Tennessee and Kenner Broullire (track and field) at West Point Academy.