Gilmore, Rio Grande to help each other

Published 6:59 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

Rock Hill Redwomen standout distance runner Kylie Gilmore signed a national letter-of-intent on Monday with the University of Rio Grande. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right are, brother Levi Gilmore, mother Christy Gilmore, Kylie, father Adam Gilmore and grandmother Bobbi Gilmore; standing left to right, grandmother Nora Boggs, Rio Grande had coach Matt Paxton, Rock Hill coach Mark McFann, Rock Hill coach Mike Miller, and grandfather Randy Gilmore. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)


PEDRO — There’s an old saying, “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”

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Rock Hill Redwomen track and cross country standout Kylie Gilmore signed a letter-of-intent on Tuesday with the University of Rio Grande RedStorm that appears to be an agreement of helping each other.

Gilmore is seeking help to improve and Rio Grande coach Matt Paxton knows a better Gilmore will make for a better RedStorm team.

“My goal is just to improve,” said Gilmore. “(Coach Paxton) thinks I’ll be a good fit for the team and that I’ll improve a lot. I want to better myself. I really enjoy doing it and with his help I can get better and grow.”

Rock Hill’s Kylie Gilmore

Paxton — who took over this year when Bob Willey retired —  is excited to have Gilmore among his first recruiting class.

“She’s just a great Southeast Ohio runner. We’re trying to attract a lot of young ladies from our area and she really fits in culture-wise. She’s going to help our pack. She’s going to improve a lot being in college and with a group that can push her and run. We see the talent and ability in her,” said Paxton.

“She lights up a room. She’s talking and stuff which helps us. Half of distance running is getting out there and everybody is keeping spirits up and having a positive attitude.”

Gilmore made Rio Grande her choice over Shawnee State and Kentucky Christian University.

“I just felt like Rio would be the better place for me athletically and academically. And, I know a lot of people there,” said Gilmore. “I like that it’s away from everything. It’s peaceful and you don’t have to worry about all kinds of traffic and stuff,”

Gilmore keeps busy in the fall running cross county and playing soccer. She is on the bowling team in the winter before turning her attention to track in the spring.

In fact, the Rock Hill senior only started her running career as a freshman.

“I just wanted to try something new so I went out for cross country and I actually fell in love with it,” she said.

Gilmore runs the 1660 and 3200 open races and is a member of the 4×800 relay with an occasional 4×400 relay thrown into the mix. Last season, she dabbled with the pole vault.

“It just gives me something different to do than run in circles,” said Gilmore with a laugh. “I like it a lot, but I like running more because I’m better at it.”

Gilmore said her best race is the 3200 and she is anxious to attack that event once she arrives on the Rio Grande campus.

“My goal is to get my 3200 time down by a minute,” Gilmore said, noting that would put her well under 13 minutes. “I just have to keep training and practicing hard values, too. I’m just focusing on bettering my own time.”

Paxton said he is positive Gilmore will help the team because it’s in her DNA.

“She clearly wants to work. That’s one of the things I see. She’ll put her time in and she’ll get really good,” said Paxton. “She’ll drop some serious time getting in with our group.”

Gilmore plans to major in Radiology Tech.