Gallagher column: A track trip across Rowan County
Track fan, are you? Thursday was your day in Rowan County.
Along with photographer extraordinaire Jon Lakey, my track trip started at South Rowan, where the NPC held a meet. Then, it was off to Salisbury for a CCC meet. And finally, Spencer became the destination as North Rowan held a YVC affair.
At each stadium, your eyes popped out at the talent. East Rowan coach Rick Roseman said something about a Post story complimenting the senior class across the county.
“They’re out here,” he chirped, looking around at several seniors who are aiming for state titles.
We talked about the great hurdlers up at North and Roseman quickly reminded me not to forget Daishion.
Oh yeah, the Barger kid from West. He won a state title last season, didn’t he?
At Salisbury, we sought out Romar Morris, the Zoomin’ Human. Can’t wait for him to run the sprints.
We found him in street clothes raking the long-jump pit.
Raking, not running?
Morris, who won two indoor state championships and is a favorite in the 100 and 200 outdoors, didn’t run Thursday. He had injured a hamstring in a meet over the weekend and was held out.
“He wasn’t happy,” sprinter coach J.K. Adkins said.
When you arrive at North Rowan, you know you’re at a track school. The Cavs have won so many titles, it’s easy to forget how many. You expect them to win, and they seldom disappoint.
When asked the biggest reason for the Cavalier excellence, star jumper and hurdler Johnny Oglesby didn’t hesitate.
“Coach Steele,” he said.
Robert Steele was sitting at the top of the stadium with his team, yelling instructions and mostly smiling. And why not?
His girls won a state championship last season and Oglesby wants nothing more than to give Steele another one. Unlike Joe Namath, he didn’t guarantee a championship, but let’s just say he’s a confident young man.
Track is the fun sport. Kids want to get in on the act, even if they’re not on the team.
Take Salisbury baseball player Chase Etters, who Scott Maddox calls “my pinch runner.” He simply went out and ran a 11.6 in the 100. Basketball star Ayanna Holmes was jumping.
The North girls like colorful socks. There were green and yellow — and our favorite, the purple socks of Akevia Charleston.
Tuesday will be another track day. It’s the annual Rowan County Track Meet, to be held at East Rowan. Suddenly, all of those great athletes we saw Thursday will be on the same field together for the last time.
Track fan, are you?
Don’t miss this one. It could be the best ever.