Today was a beautiful day in Greensboro, the sun was out but not to hot, there was a wind that picked up and messed with the discus athletes, but didn’t affect anyone on the track. Athletes were out in full force today, in different uniforms and different colors than what they ran during the regular season. But the exhilaration of athletics, competing against one another was on full display. Unlike cross country, there are no places to hide on the track, whether athletes performed up to their standards or not nobody backed down from the best today…what type of day was it for the athletes? A great day for North Carolina!
Two athletes from North Carolina can lay claim that they are National Champions, Hunter Furr in the 100 M and Spencer Adams in the 110 H won their respect events today. The 100 saw what seemed to be a photo finish, but the victor knew that he won. On Saturday they can try and claim another victory, Hunter can try and claim a 100/200 double as he is running in the 200, and Spencer is running in the 400 H. Track Eastern Carolina won the 1600 Medley Relay almost breaking their own meet record from two years ago. They had to deliver a big kick in the last 100 meters to achieve the victory, as they had two other opponents right with them. In the emerging elite category, Christopher Herring won the 100 M pulling off a rare sweep of victories for the state.
The emerging elite events allow those who would not have necessarily have hit the qualifying times for the final events. But the display of joy on an athlete’s and their families faces are one reason why through all the negatives, the sport that is track and field is still strong and growing.
In a standout event, the Women’s 100 M Dash, two athletes earned All American status. Stormy Kendrick finished third and right behind her was Dominique Weathers finished 4th. Just missing out on an All American status was Jacinda Evans, who was named recently Gatorade’s North Carolina Women’s Track and Field Athlete of the Year. A very impressive showing from these three women, each getting into the finals and producing two All-Americans.
Donning the maroon Hickory for the last time was Ryan Hill who ran in the same heat that saw the breaking of the national high school 2 mile record. To say the pace was fast is an understatement. The track was definitely buzzing before, during, and after the race. For those to say that a distance event on track does not translate well to a spectator should have been during there during the race. The whole crowd got on their feet and was helping out all the runners with their energy and enthusiasm. Ryan started off a little fast, then faded a bit during the middle, and then started to pick it up on his bell lap. He finished his high school career on a track where he has earned multiple championships.
It was somewhat fitting that after a great runner would end his high school career, another one would be drawing close to an end immediately following it. Spencer Adams went out and won the 110-meter hurdles race right after the two-mile. He showed what type of performer he was by looking smooth over the hurdles.
Tomorrow there aren’t as many athletes from North Carolina competing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the results wont be there. Greensboro has some sort of magic to it that most North Carolina athletes seemed to have found.