— Michael Hillier
The long, windy road on a freezing fall morning led the way to a group of participants who gathered in remembrance of school alumnus and decorated wrestler, Bradlee Lamontagne. The morning, although cold, was warmed by the high spirits of those who created and prepared to run the “Bradass” 10k.
LaMontagne was a former wrestler at the school, a friend and family to many. And, although his life was cut short by a boating accident two years ago at the age of 21, he continues to inspire and impact our community.
At the time of his passing, LaMontagne attended Johns Hopkins University, with the intent of becoming a doctor or to move into the bioengineering field. He also continued to wrestle while there; in fact, wrestling is a huge part of his legacy as he continued the family tradition that includes a prestigious line of former wrestlers.
Lamontagne found a variety of ways to cut weight, one of these being running. A few years ago during Thanksgiving break, he ran over 15 miles in First Landing State Park, just so he could eat a big Thanksgiving dinner. Thus, his family agreed that a 10k through that same park would be appropriate as a tribute.
“I had a great time. It is crazy to see all these people and hear all the stories about Bradlee. It almost feels like I knew him just from hearing everyone talk about his character,” run participant Dylan McGruder said.
The $12,000 raised from the race went toward the Bradlee Lamontagne Memorial Fund, to help give college scholarships to student athletes from Great Neck Wrestling Club and Cox High School and to aid less fortunate wrestling families. The memorial fund is also raising money to purchase a van for the wrestling club and open a wrestling room at 2200 Virginia Beach Blvd. in Bradlee’s honor.
According to LaMontagne’s uncle, Mike Hillier, the family is extremely thankful and expressed gratitude for all who showed up in Brad’s memory. They are fortunate to be able to assist wrestlers who wish continue their sport post high school, as well as strengthen the wrestling community.
Michael Hillier is the editor-in-chief of Falcon Press, Cox High School’s student newspaper.