• 64°

Prep cross country: Summers shines for Salisbury

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.com
Salisbury senior Nick Summers could hear some spectators yelling his name. Others were cheering for East Rowan’s Ross Oden.
About 150 meters remained in the Rowan County Meet, the 3.1-mile cross country event held annually at Dan Nicholas Park, when Summers and Oden started sprinting toward the finish line.”It felt like I was in a movie because it was like I was in a zone,” Summers said. “Everybody was screaming my name and his name, so I knew it was a close race.”
Summers edged Oden, the defending champion, by two-tenths of a second and won with an official time of 16:30.2.
Summers again relied on a strong finishing kick to improve his position. That burst of speed is familiar to friends who called him “Reggie Bush” because of the open-field moves he used on defenders during pickup football games at Jersey City Park.
Salisbury graduate Isaiah Goodman, now a Fayetteville State student, played quarterback and always selected Summers with his first pick.
“From the first day me and Nick hung out I noticed a special glow about him,” Goodman said. “Everything he did was as if he was 8 feet tall. In football we compared him to Bush; in basketball he was Jason Terry. He always gave his all at everything he did.
“When he ran it always seemed as if every step he took was his last. He would ‘strike out’ as we would call it. He would run as if it were no tomorrow.”
Summers was a backup cornerback on Salisbury’s junior varsity football team as a freshman. He dabbled in outdoor track as a member of coach Mike Allen’s team during the spring.
Goodman, having observed his friend’s willingness to chase down pass after pass, kidded Summers about going out for cross country as a sophomore.
“He said, ‘You should run cross country because you never stop running,’ ” Summers recalled. “He kind of told me, ‘Well, I bet you won’t ever become a good runner.’ I was like, ‘All right, we’ll see about that.’ ”
Summers participated in both football and cross country as a 10th-grader. He placed 14th in the county meet (19:22), joined teammate Philip Tonseth on the all-conference team and finished 52nd at the 2A Midwest Regional (20:12).
Summers claimed eighth at both the county and regional meets as a junior. He earned the last individual berth into the state meet by running a 17:56 and crossing one spot ahead of Tonseth.
Summers finished 22nd in the 2A race at Tanglewood Park.
“My freshman year, his sophomore year, I was beating him every race,” Tonseth said. “Last year he started to come on a lot more and beat me at regionals. This year, besides the first race, he’s been miles ahead of me.
“If I can keep up with him, I’m happy. It’s insane. He has another gear that no one else has.”
The extra gear helped the Hornets win the 2A state track championship in May. Romar Morris rolled to two sprint titles, and Summers had a pair of top-three showings in distance events. He was fifth with half a lap remaining in the mile and passed three runners in the next 150 meters. Tonseth’s performance in the 3,200 clinched first place for Salisbury.
That team effort was memorable, and Summers ranks last week’s cross country victory as the best individual accomplishment of his prep career.
“Once I crossed, it was a sigh of relief because I was pushing it the whole race and was dead,” Summers said. “I knew I won, but it was close. Too close for comfort.”
Tonseth, who finished third, knew what the result meant to Summers and hugged him after the race.
Summers shared the news with Goodman during a Facebook chat session later that evening.
“Me and him have a real close-knit relationship,” Summers said. “I always think of that, that he’s the main reason I’m the person I am now, because he kind of motivated me to come out and run.”
 

Comments

Comments closed.

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1