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Track star completes record-breaking CTC career | People

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Track star completes record-breaking CTC career
Track star completes record-breaking CTC career

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Chattahoochee Tech track star Andrew Archer officially finished his eligibility as a Golden Eagle at the NJCAA National Indoor Meet at Texas Tech University in early March.

But this doesn't mean that the 22-year-old Bahamas native is done as a collegiate runner or contributor to the CTC program.

Archer posted a school record time of 50.21 in the 400 meter dash at the Texas meet, breaking the mark that he set earlier in the indoor season.

Though he cannot officially compete during the spring outdoor schedule, which began on Thursday, Mar. 24 at Emory University, Archer will travel with the team to several meets as an unattached runner in order to gain more exposure to four-year programs.

He will also maintain his leadership role.

"I'll still train with the team," Archer said. "Any practices and team meetings, I'll be there because I'm still the team captain."

In 2006, Archer finished a distinguished prep track career at St. Anne's High School in Nassau, Bahamas, where he specialized in the 200 and 400 meter runs and competed on the country's top 4x400 relay team.

After taking several years off from school and competitive running, Archer moved stateside and began living with his uncle in Stone Mountain.

He knew that he wanted to study graphic design, and found the program at CTC to be a good fit. Realizing that his ability on the track could help him earn a scholarship, he approached head coach Steve Prettyman and assistant Patrick O'Brien about a spot on the team.

Archer started competing as a walk-on in the spring of the 2008-2009 school year during the outdoor season, but quickly earned a scholarship before the next fall, when he was also named team captain.

During Archer's time as a Golden Eagle, the five-year-old program gained a dedicated weight room and became increasingly competitive on the national junior college scene.

"I have seen a lot of improvement, and it's happened so fast," he said. "Because of how quick the team grew and how quick everybody got better, I see potential for more improvement. I really think we can be up there with all those big junior college teams, but we have to keep growing."

Now Archer's task is to parlay his success at CTC into a continued career at a four-year institution -- somewhere close by, he hopes. He and the coaching staff are working overtime to ensure this opportunity.

"There's always a cooperation between us and the four-year coaches," Prettyman said. "There's not only performance, but are they a team player, are they ambitious, are they easy to coach? Those aspects are always taken into consideration by the schools in addition to just performance."

Archer fits the mold. A well-rounded student who has been involved with CTC's International Club, he will choose his next destination not only on the merits of its track program, but on its academics as well. The school will have to offer a top-notch opportunity to further his knowledge in his true calling: graphic design.

"I love track, but graphics is what I want to do for the rest of my life," Archer said.