Blair Garrett

There are a lot of great athletes coming up in the Catoctin region.

We’ve had state championships in football and baseball in just the past few years. We’ve had phenomenal teams and coaches put together stellar post-season runs to give us years of exciting high school sports action.

But we’ve also had some students who have become standouts among the standouts. Brody Buffington of Catoctin High School has become one of those athletes.

Buffington’s performances for the track team this season have been electric, so much so that he’s become a nationally ranked runner in his categories.

“I’m ranked No. 2 in the nation in the 100 meter, and I’m fifth or sixth in the nation in the 200-meter dash,” Buffington said.

Buffington’s successes for the team were really something of a happy accident. Track had been an option to keep in shape for his primary sport, but once his shoes hit the track, the sky was the limit for the senior.

“Last year, I did indoor track to keep up with my conditioning for my outdoor sport, lacrosse,” Buffington said. “I found out I was really good at running, so I sacrificed lacrosse for an opportunity at track and field.”

Buffington’s efforts have translated into a lot of personal growth and plenty of post-high school opportunities. “ I’m going to run in college,” he said. “I committed to the University of Georgia.”

The University of Georgia has a special athlete headed its way come next season. Buffington has excelled in his short time with the Catoctin track team, setting multiple school and state records.

“He’s got the school record in the 100- and the 200-meter dash, and both of his records are the fastest in the state of Maryland,” Head Coach David Lillard said. Not only has Buffington made a splash at the regional and state level, but his appearance at the biggest of stages made a statement for the Catoctin standout.

“At Indoor Nationals, I got second place for the 60- and the 200-meter dash,” Buffington said.

Adjusting to a new sport as a high school junior is no easy feat. Becoming a nationally ranked athlete in that sport in such a short time seems near impossible. The past two seasons for Buffington have been a tight learning curve, but it’s no surprise that he’s exceeded expectations with a great coach and team behind him.

“He’s [Coach Lillard] molded me into the person I am today,” Buffington said. “I make a lot smarter decisions, I’ve sacrificed a lot, and he’s trained me to where I am right now, so I’m very grateful for my coach.”

The work isn’t done yet, though. Two huge opportunities to prove he’s one of the best in the nation still lie ahead. “I have a longer season than a lot of the guys because I have New Balance Nationals and the Junior Olympics over the summer,” Buffington said. I’m still putting in the hard work and going over the little details.”

The team’s season finishes with the turn of the month, but that hasn’t stopped Coach Lillard from polishing up on the parts of Buffington’s game that really make a difference.

“One of the main things we’re working on is the turn coming out of the 200 meter into the straightaway,” Lillard said. “We’re still doing some block work and still trying to work on some power, but the key thing is just trying to stay healthy and still trying to fine tune.”

With a steadfast work ethic and passion for improving on the details of his game, Buffington’s improvements are sure to carry him far into his post-high school career.

While Buffington graduates after this season, the team has plenty of up-and-coming athletes to look forward to for next season.

Keep an eye out for your favorite Cougar athletes hitting the track once again in late 2023.  

Brody Buffington competes at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in March 2023 in Boston.

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