Senators’ senior Guy running in parents’ footsteps

Dover High senior Nathanael Guy poses with his parents, the Revs. William and Tramaine (Grippon) Guy, who both ran track at Delaware State, DSU sports information photo

DOVER — Tramaine Grippon was just one of those runners, said Dover High coach Jim Solomon.

He could put her in almost any event and she’d deliver.

Grippon won the DIAA Division I state title in the 800 meters three times between 1994-96 while also capturing a 1,600 crown.

“She would run anything that we asked her to run,” said Solomon. “She was tough — a tough competitor.”

So Solomon is hardly surprised that Grippon’s son, Nathanael Guy, turned out to be a pretty good runner himself.

A senior, Guy won the DIAA indoor state title in the 800 this winter while running the anchor leg on a pair of second-place relays. He was poised to do some good things in the outdoor season before spring sports were canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

But Guy still thinks he has a bright running future in front of him — only now it’s at Delaware State, where he’s accepted an athletic scholarship.

It’s hardly surprising that Guy would choose DSU, though. His parents, the Revs. William Guy and Grippon, first met when they were running for the Hornets between 1996-2000.

Needless to say, they were pretty excited when Nathanael chose their alma mater.

“They’re like, ‘We’re getting you (DSU) gear. We’re getting you a hat, we’re doing this and that,’” Nathanael said with a laugh. “They were just so hype. They were more excited than I was.

“I was like, ‘OK, this is kind of my future, hold on.’ But I was on board with it all, too. It was a really exciting feeling.”

DelState’s Steven Kimes, the former successful Wesley College coach, is bringing in several other Henlopen Conference standouts besides Guy.

Guy also ran cross country for the Senators during his high school career, Delaware State News/Marc Clery

The Hornets’ list of local recruits includes Caesar Rodney’s Leon Jett (hurdles), Smyrna’s Virgil Reeves (60 meters) and Raymond Nyameke (200), and Polytech’s Michael Rodriguez (hurdles). Dover grad Tyshaun Chisolm, who spent the last two seasons in junior college, will also be running the hurdles for DSU.

Kimes first noticed Guy when he was in middle school. Wesley used to practice at Central Middle School before the Senators.

“Nate is a major prize for our program,” Kimes said in a DelState press release. “He has all the tools to succeed at the college level, is an exceptional student and comes from a great Hornet family.”

Guy said he’s heard plenty of track stories from his parents growing up. His mom still holds some of the Senators’ top-five times in various events and cross country.

“In high school, she was focused and determined,” said Guy. “They say I have the same effort or the same technique that she once did. It’s amazing what I can do with her genes passed on to me. It’s amazing to follow in her footsteps. It’s fun, too.

“When I first joined (the track team), she was always coaching me in middle school. When I came to high school she was like, ‘Oh, you’re in good hands. I don’t have to worry about you.’”

Solomon said Guy’s running talent is only part of the reason he’s been a great team member the past four years.

“Let me tell you something, his demeanor is just awesome,” said Solomon. “He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever, ever coached. … He leads by example. He’s not a ‘rah-rah’ type of kid but he’s outstanding.”

Guy was part of several successful relay teams, both indoor and outdoor for Dover. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

At the same time, Guy said he wasn’t working hard enough early in this past indoor season. His results showed it, too.

Guy, though, was determined to get back on track by the state championship meet.

“Early in the season, he wasn’t doing real well,” said Solomon. “He got really discouraged. But, to his credit, he found his mojo.”

“The beginning was rough,” said Guy. “But I definitely completed it with the best effort I could.”

In the outdoor season, Guy wanted to make another run at the long-time state 800 record held by former Senator star Bruce Harris. The mark has stood since 1984 when Harris was clocked in 1:49.4.

In last season’s Division I outdoor state meet, Guy took third in the 800 in 1:56.55.

“I don’t know how he did it,” Guy said about Harris’ record. “I just wanted to get close to him at least.”

Now, though, Guy will just have to turn his attention toward his college career.

Guy remembers discovering running when he was little. He first realized he was pretty fast by running around the bases as a baseball Little Leaguer.

“My mom and dad didn’t say anything because they wanted me to figure that out,” said Guy. “When I noticed that, I was like, ‘Wow, how far can I run? How fast can I go?’ … Over the years, I started to love the sport. I still have a passion for middle distance.

“I have great parents. I’m just glad that they let me do my own thing and didn’t rush me into the sport. I just followed my passion and it’s led me to where I am now.”