Prep track: North's Meloney Ramos

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2011

By Mike London
SPENCER —Senior Meloney Ramos got up early Saturday and made her eagerly awaited outdoor track debut for North Rowan’s Cavaliers in the Queen City Relays at Myers Park.
Ramos was clocked in 46.13 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles, taking second in a stacked field featuring 4A Charlotte schools. It was one of the quicker times in the state this season and good enough to put her on the “Silver Standard” list nationally.
“Mel ran one of the elite times in the country at 9 a.m., in 48-degree temperatures, in a cold rain,” North Rowan coach Robert Steele said. “That’s not too bad.”
In the same meet, Ramos helped North finish fourth in the 4×100 shuttle hurdles.
“She chased two teams down,” Steele said.
Ramos would be special if she only competed in the hurdles, but she’s much more than a hurdler. She’s also made her mark as a jumper and is a dynamic sprinter.
“Very, very versatile,” Steele said. “Long jump, triple jump, about any relay, and she could run the 100, 200 or 400 for us. The hardest thing with her is trying to decide which four events — that’s the limit — she’ll compete in on a given day.”
Ramos is headed to Western Carolina, where she’ll no doubt be a multi-event person for the Catamounts.
“That was my first choice of schools,” Ramos said. “I wanted them, and they wanted me.”
Ramos, who moved to Rowan from New York when she was in fourth grade, is blessed not only with unusual explosion, grace and quickness, but with a work ethic that has allowed her to improve at the technical aspects of her events.
“I’ve played volleyball and played some tennis, but track really has been my life since I was 5 years old,” Ramos said. “Track is just where everything feels right.”
Ramos began making an impact as a sophomore at Salisbury High in 2009. She was the 2A Central Carolina Conference’s best in the 100 meters, was All-CCC in the 100-meter hurdles and ran on the league’s fastest 4×100 relay team.
As a junior last May, Ramos accumulated 18 points to help the Hornets finish second in the 2A state outdoor meet at North Carolina A&T. She finished in the top six in all four of her events. Her best was a third in the long jump, and she also placed in the triple jump, 100-meter dash and 300 hurdles.
While Salisbury finished second in 2A last spring, North’s girls, keyed by two relay wins and individual wins in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles by Teaunna Cuthbertson, won a state championship in its first season competing in 1A.
Over the summer, competing in yet another event — the 400-meter hurdles — Ramos turned in another nationally elite time.
Ramos transferred to North for her senior year and gives the Cavaliers, who still have Cuthbertson, Tinka Bush and a host of strong sprinters, a tremendous chance to win back-to-back state titles.
Ramos made her first impact for the green wave at the 1A/2A/3A indoor track meet held in Fayetteville in February. North finished fourth behind three 3A schools, edging still-strong Salisbury by a single point.
Ramos contributed second places in the 55 hurdles and triple jump and a third in the long jump.
Ramos’ accomplishments in the indoor season qualified her to compete in a national event in New York, but she was taking the SAT that day and couldn’t make the trip.
Ramos, who wants to become a sports physician, owns an impressive list of personal bests a mile long.
They include:
n 55-meter hurdles: 8.47 seconds
n 100 hurdles: 15.18
n 100 meters: 12.54
n 200 meters: 25.36
n 300 hurdles: 45.81
n 400 hurdles: 1:04.01
n 400 meters: 1:00.90n Long jump: 17 feet, 10 inches
n Triple jump: 36-7
Is there anything else?
“Coach Steele has been asking me about the high jump,” Ramos said with a laugh. “I’ll try it if he wants me to.”
NOTES: The upcoming Rowan County Meet (April 12 at East) promises to be a fantastic event.
Ramos is part of a spectacular senior class of athletes in the county, and Rowan is as strong in track and field as it is in any sport.
Salisbury’s boys and North’s girls won outdoor state championships in 2010 — but neither won the county meet.