With the performances Sid Vaughn put up in cross country and track during his time at Lakeside High School, it’s not surprising he was recruited to run for the University of Georgia.
Tuesday afternoon at the high school, Vaughn made it official when he signed his letter of intent to become a Bulldog in front of his family and friends.
“It was really nice to have all the hard work pay off,” said the senior.
Vaughn didn’t visit UGA until Jan. 20, but knew he was home when he made the trip.
“When I went to UGA it felt like the right fit for me,” Vaughn said. “The environment, the team, the coaches, just everything seemed good for me.”
What might be most surprising is that he is able to run at all.
Vaughn was born with a birth defect in his right leg called arteriovenous malformation, a blood vessel tumor that prevented blood from nourishing tissues.
At 11 months old, Vaughn no longer could extend his leg. Doctors found a lump, but didn’t know what it was until they removed it. Even then, they just guessed as to what was wrong.
Vaughn underwent subsequent surgeries at 11 years old and in his sophomore year.
At that point, his mother, Laura Vaughn, sought alternative treatments to eradicate the problem. At the end of cross county season, they flew to Colorado, where Dr. Wayne Yakes performed an innovative procedure called alcohol ablation.
“Dr. Yakes is the only doctor in the nation and one of the few internationally that does that procedure,” Laura Vaughn said. “That particular procedure is the only known cure.”
He rehabbed and was back in time to run track.
Once fully recovered, Vaughn was able to set some personal records the next year.
“Junior year was a breakout year for me,” Vaughn said. “I ran a 9:32 in the 3,200 (meter) and made it to state for the first time in both the 1,600 (meter) and 3,200 (meter).”
At the state meet in 2011, Vaughn finished fifth in the 1,600 meters and fourth in the 3,200 meters.
Vaughn’s turnaround continued into this year’s cross country season when he ran a personal best 15:23 and finished 21st at the Footlocker South, a regional meet that included teams from Louisiana to Virginia.
Though undecided on what he might study at Georgia, Vaughn said he is leaning toward the physical therapy field.
“Since I dealt with injuries, it might be nice to help people with injuries and help them through that,” he said.