Three Beaufort High runners sign to compete in college

Beaufort High’s cross country and track and field programs continue to turn out collegiate runners, and the Eagles added three more names to the roster Wednesday. 

Nash Mills, Charlie Bennett, and Austin Major — a trio of accomplished distance runners for the Eagles’ strong cross country and track squads — made their plans official when they signed letters of intent to run at the next level.

Mills committed to UNC Wilmington in September, and the Seahawks honored his scholarship offer despite a serious car accident that caused him to miss most of his senior cross country season. The Region 7-4A champion as a junior, Mills was an inspirational last-place finisher at his last region meet after coming back from surgery to insert a steel rod in his broken right femur. He recently was cleared to resume training daily and has had no setbacks, so he hopes to have a full track season and be at full strength when he arrives in Wilmington.

He certainly hopes so, because his first collegiate meet will be a chance to go head to head with his best friend Bennett, who will be running for UNC Greensboro. Bennett had his sights set on the Spartans because former May River standout Colin Keck was there. He reached out to the previous coach to no avail, but when Kaleigh Roach was announced as UNCG’s new coach in November, she got in touch with Bennett and a match was made. 

The opportunity came looking for Major, who was surprised to find an Instagram DM from the coaching staff at Columbia College asking if he was interested in running for the Fighting Koalas’ fledgling program. Columbia launched its men’s cross country program in 2021 with a squad of five freshmen, so Major gets a chance to get in on the ground floor — or close to it — and help the young program right away.

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