VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame’s Brian Atkinson All-American Runner At Duke
By By Alan Zlotorzynski // May 9, 2016
Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
ABOVE VIDEO: Brian Atkinson’s college honors included Outdoor Second Team All-American, Cross Country All-East, Outdoor All-East, NCAA East First Round Participant, and he was also a Cross Country All-ACC Academic in three of his four years.
2016 COLLEGE INDUCTEE
• Most 4A Cross Country Titles
• All-American At Duke University
• All-ACC Academic Honors
Reading the list of accomplishments runner Brian Atkinson achieved at Melbourne High School and then at Duke University makes one wonder if there shouldn’t be a separate Hall of Fame – one just for him.
The son of Andrew Atkinson and Carolyn Feltus-Atkinson, Brian was as decorated an athlete as the Bulldogs have ever had and one of the most successful athletes in Brevard County prep history.
Atkinson’s Class 4A cross country titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 are the most ever by a male runner in Florida High School Athletic Association cross country competitions, and he is tied for second among two-milers with his championships in the same years.
Also, while at Melbourne, Atkinson took second-team all-America honors, was a Foot Locker Finalist, and named Gatorade Florida Cross Country Runner of the Year twice.
More impressive was that he won scholar-athlete awards in each of his four years and as a result was able to attend one of the more prestigious universities in the country in Duke.
Some of Atkinson’s honors included Outdoor Second Team All-American (2014), Cross Country All-East (2010), Outdoor All-East (2012), NCAA East First Round Participant (5,000 – 2013, 10,000 – 2014).
Atkinson was also a Cross Country All-ACC Academic in three of his four years (2011, 2012, 2014) and an Outdoor All-ACC Academic (2013, 2014) and earned ACC Academic Honor Roll (2011, 2012, 2014).
Atkinson is not done running, not by a long shot. This past November Brian was one of 108 runners to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, which took place this past February in Los Angeles. The top three advance to Rio and the 2016 Olympics.
Atkinson finished 72nd but the result in no way diminishes the remarkable feat of running in the race.
Brian is currently in medical school at the University of South Florida and within the past year was named to the Skechers Performance Elite Team, which also includes Olympic silver medalist and New York and Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi.
HALL OF FAME MARRIAGE
According to Atkinson, his biggest accomplishment while at Duke did not come on the tracks or cross country surfaces. It came in getting to know an acquaintance from Brevard County, Holy Trinity track and cross country star and 2012 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame inductee Kayla Hale.
Like Atkinson, Hale was a successful runner on the Space Coast. Kayla attended Holy Trinity where she was a Four-time Florida state champion in the 3,200m, four-time cross country state champion and two-time 1,600m state champion.
Like Brian, Kayla was also a Footlocker finalist. She, also a Commended National Merit Scholar and member of the National Honor Society, chose Duke University.
Kayla had known Brian since she was a child. His mother was her pediatrician, and they grew up in the same town, occasionally seeing each other on runs through the park.
When Atkinson committed to Duke, the two talked a little, Kayla helping Brian register for classes and buying him a Final Four basketball shirt.
Once Brian came to Durham, the two became friends, getting to know each other as they lived on the same campus, Kayla even driving him to church. Brian’s second semester, the two started dating and on July 5, 2014 the two were married.
It appears as if Brian Atkinson has not only accomplished a Hall of Fame running career here on the Space Coast and beyond but he has also accomplished the start of a hall of fame life, with a hall of fame wife.
Congratulations Brian – don’t stop running.
THE 2016 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 13.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2016 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Induction Dinner, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com
CLICK HERE TO OBTAIN TICKETS
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.