Hard to slow down Brandon Ilie

Hard to slow down Brandon Ilie


Hard to slow down Brandon Ilie


When Brandon Ilie was in middle school, his mother would take him along her morning runs around the neighborhood.

OK, she made him go.

“She dragged me out,” said Ilie, a senior at Pearl River and this week’s Journal News Rockland Scholar-Athlete of the Week. “I never liked going.”

Ilie said his mother, Kimberly Ilie, wanted him to go with her to keep her company and to keep her motivated, otherwise she probably wouldn’t keep going. Now an All-County runner, Ilie is thankful is mother brought him on those two-mile runs years ago.

The cross country and track standout, who carries a 91.1 unweighted average in the classroom, is now debating on whether or not he will run at the collegiate level. Ilie has already been accepted to his top-two choices — the University of Alabama and San Diego State University — but will likely only run at one.

“If I went to Alabama and could make the team, I’d probably run there,” Ilie said. “They have a lot of school pride and Pearl River is really big on school pride.”

If Ilie did not make the team, it more than likely wouldn’t be due of a lack of effort. Ilie suffered an Achilles injury in eighth grade after continuing to run with tendinitis. After a successful cross country season last year, he missed all of track with a torn meniscus, another injury he kept from coach Michael Kiernan.

“I didn’t say anything until days after when I couldn’t run,” he said. “I didn’t want to be away from my teammates.”

Kiernan described Ilie as “stubborn,” adding that the trait is both a blessing and a curse.

“It is part of what makes him a good student and a good athlete,” Kiernan said. “He doesn’t let anything get in his way, sometimes to a fault.”


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