Blaiz Rodman is a three sport athlete for First Flight who plays basketball and began running track and cross county his Sophomore year. Things started to come together for Blaiz his junior season as he had gotten his 1600 time down to 4:42 and 3200 time to 10:01. He even advanced to the NCHSAA 2A State Championships where he finished 12th and 9th in the 1600 and 3200 respectively. After a strong junior track season Rodman had his eyes set on having a big cross country season in the fall.
But Rodman's athletic career flashed before his eyes in June. On June 21st Rodman was travelling to a summer league basketball game with his First Flight teammates. The car he was riding in collided with another where he and many of his teammates and coaches suffered severe injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was killed.
Rodman was airlifted to the hospital and underwent surgery. Uncle Wayne Rodman told the Outer Banks Sentinel, "They did a bone graft from his hip to fuse his back and inserted two steel rods with screws for support." Rodman had broken his third lumbar vertebra, which is in his lower back. Rodman's surgery went well, but he was in a back brace for a while after the accident. And just like that his senior year of athletics would be a question. Doctors told Rodman that it would likely take him a full year to recover from his injuries.
But luckily for Rodman, in December, just 6 months after his injury, he was able to play basketball again. Rodman ended up only missing the first 9 games of the season, and was able to finish out his basketball career. Rodman was also lucky to make a return on the track this outdoor season. He is hoping to make a return to the State Championships next weekend and is scheduled to compete in the 4x800, 1600 and His 4x800 team is ranked 2nd in the 2A East region and he is ranked 6th in the 1600. Rodman and his First Flight teammates Skylar Stultz and freshman Zach Hughes will look to send 3 teammates to the state championships in the 1600 as they each rank in the top 6 in the region.
Though Rodman's major injury has haltered his running progression this outdoor season, he still has great odds of making a return to the state championships. His PR from his junior season came at the 2A East Regional where he took 3rd place, so hopefully he can have the same success as he toes the line Saturday afternoon at Pasquotank County HS.
Earlier this season we caught up with Rodman after running at NCRunners Eastern Tour #1 where he talked about his injury and reflected on his high school running career.