TICONDEROGA - Jared Best has been selected to receive the fifth annual Duane Crammond Memorial Scholarship. The $1,000 award given by the LaChute Road Runners Club goes to a Ti High graduate who participated in varsity cross country and/or track & field who attends college full-time. The winner, selected by a scholarship committee, is a person who reflects the strong academic, athletic and character traits of Crammond.
Crammond died in a car accident in 2005 at age 24.
Best, a Ti High cross country and track runner, never knew Crammond.
"I've heard his story countless times from my coaches," Best said of Crammond's legacy. "Duane was a spirited runner, the kind we all look up to. It's special to win an award in his name."
Best graduated from Ti June 27 and will attend Clarkson University this fall. He plans to major in environmental engineering and run on the Knights' cross country team.
Best was a member of the 2006 Ticonderoga cross country team that finished second at the state championship race.
"I am not a spectacular runner, but to me, it was the race where I shined the most, and that race was inspiring," Best wrote in his scholarship essay. "From that point on, I made running a non-stop habit."
The Hague teen quoted Dr. George Sheehan: "People begin running for any number of motives, but we stick to it for one basic reason...to find out who we really are."
Matt Karkoski, scholarship committee chairman, said Best is a good choice for the award. Best has many of Crammond's attributes, he said.
"Duane was a great runner, but he was so much more," Karkoski said. "He set a great example for younger runners through his work ethic and determination to succeed.
"We're pleased we can honor Duane with a scholarship and, at the same time, help someone meet their college goals," he added.
Crammond, the valedictorian of the Ti High Class of 1999, was a cross country and track champion in high school. He went on to become an honor student at RPI, where he majored in engineering and was captain of the college's cross country team. He was also the leading distance runner on RPI's indoor and outdoor track teams.
After graduation from college, Crammond dominated local race races. In 2003 he won the Montcalm Mile in Ticonderoga and the Race the Train event in North Creek. He was third in the Whiteface Uphill Run in Wilmington, fourth in the Prospect Mountain Road Race in Lake George and fifth in the Lake George to Bolton Adirondack Distance Run. He capped that season by winning the Adirondack Marathon in Schroon Lake.
Those who wish donate toward the scholarship can send contributions to Karkoski at 25 Black Point Road, Ticonderoga 12883.