Rowan County track: East Rowan boys win
By Bret Strelow
GRANITE QUARRY ó East Rowan’s boys won five events at the Rowan County Track Meet for the third consecutive year.
That formula has enabled the Mustangs to three-peat as county champions for the first time in school history.
An East athlete didn’t pick up an MVP honor, but Daishion Barger had first-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles (14.10 seconds) and the long jump (20 feet, 5 inches). Salisbury’s Romar Morris, the sprints MVP, edged him in both the 100 and 200 meters.
East’s other wins came from Keith Leonard (pole vault, 13-0), Ben Hancock (400, 51.56) and the 4×400 team of Hancock, Joseph Furtado, Justin Holshouser and Evan Hiatt (3:41).
“We got some first places, but so many of our kids are just digging down deep and finding places all through it,” East coach Rick Roseman said.
The Mustangs totaled 192 points, 76 more than the second-place Hornets. North Rowan took third, followed by South Rowan, West Rowan and Carson.
The best examples of East’s depth showed up in the pole vault, where Evan Webb and Scott Clark placed behind Leonard, and the 400, where Furtado and Holshouser crossed after Hancock. East’s Nathan Robbins, Sam Sherman and Chris Demitraszek finished behind Salisbury’s A.J. Ford in the shot put. The Mustangs didn’t have a top-eight seed in the triple jump, won by Salisbury’s Martin Hosch-Cathcart, but Dillon Arey took second and Ethan Curlee claimed fourth.
The success of East’s top hurdler, jumper and sprinter was no surprise.
Barger won the 110 hurdles by nearly a full second over second-place Samuel Starks of North Rowan.
“I came out of the blocks slow, and somebody got to the first hurdle before me,” Barger said. “It shocked me because I thought I was going to come out and be on top. As I saw somebody hit the hurdle before me, it made me want to push myself to be like, ‘Nah, I can’t let them beat me.’ It made me want to run faster.”
Barger also excelled last season, when he made his varsity debut for North Rowan as an eighth-grader who had aged out of middle school competition. He transferred to East in the fall.
“He adds a new dimension to our team,” Roseman said. “He broke the school record for the 110 hurdles his first meet and pulled up at the end. He’s just an unbelievable talent and such a nice kid.
“He has not been nervous all year, but he was nervous going into the 100 and the 200. By getting beat, I think it’s going to make him stronger in the conference.”
Morris, who lost to West Rowan’s Justin Avery by one-hundredth of a second in the 100 at last year’s county meet, clocked in at 10.43 on Tuesday. Barger crossed in 10.78. Morris’ time of 22.01 in the 200 was 0.42 seconds better than Barger’s.
Salisbury also had the distance MVP in Nick Summers, who won the 800 (2:05) and 1,600 (4:45).
Titus King won the 300 hurdles to produce one of three top finishes for North. He joined Starks, Cameron Mallett and Lathan Charleston on victorious relay teams in the 4×100 and 4×200.
“We had to go fast and do what we had to do to win the race,” King said. ”
Two of South’s four victories were dramatic. Michael York edged East’s Ross Oden by one-hundredth of a second in the 3,200, and field MVP B.J. Grant cleared 6-8 in the high jump. Former East standout Brian Perry, now a basketball coach at Carson, holds the meet record of 6-9.
The 4×800 team of York, Nathaniel Winslow, Dalton Johnson and Caleb O’Neal won, as did discus thrower Cadarreus Mason.
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