Boys track team makes historyWednesday, May 21, 2008 By Jesse Unk
Invictus. It’s Latin for unconquerable. It is what every man on the track team is. Coach Tom O’Neil once told us at our meet against Buchtel that whether we win or lose, we would never be conquered. This year at the 2008 City Championship Meet the boys track team was not conquered, for a second time. On May 16 North High School’s boys track team made history in Akron. No team has won two City Championships in a row since 1979. Then it was Garfield, now it’s North. It all started May 15 after school as we met in Coach Tom’s room for a team meeting. As we walked in, we saw the entire chalkboard was covered with newspaper pages. Each page contained an article or picture of a North High track team, dating all the way back to 1941. Then we saw the table; it was overloaded with trophies, each for North’s track championships. We took our seats and coach went through each race telling us what we needed to do in order to win the next night. After an inspirational speech we went to eat spaghetti in the Viking Room. The next day we came to school and teachers, students, and all runners wore their track T-shirts in support for our team. Over the announcements the Rocky theme song was played to show the support that we had. At 2:10 p.m. we were on our way to Ellet to begin one of the most eventful nights of our lives. Throughout the night you could hear the chanting of North’s fans. It all began at the semi-finals for the 110-meter hurtles. Somerville (Buchtel) was supposed to take this race hands down but false started, leading North to Troy Burgan’s first place overall finish in the finals. Then later the 4x200 meter relay came up. Lace Brooks, Antowan Logan, Larry Dawson, and Donte Covington hadn’t lost this race all season, and weren’t planning on doing so now. North led the entire race against Buchtel who was hot on their trail. It wasn’t until Covington got the baton that he exploded and completely shattered any hopes that Buchtel had of catching them. North’s team finished the race with a time of 1:29.7. The night ended with the team in the infield listening for the scores. “Third place Ellet with 94 points, runners up Buchtel with 102 points, and the 2008 champions are the North High Vikings with 147 points.” With this Coach Tom was doused with ice-cold water and the team ran out onto the field leaping (and flipping) for joy. We then took our victory lap and some pictures, and we were on our way back home. It was a night to remember. First place finishers of the night were: Brooks (100-meter dash 10.5, 200-meter dash 22.2), Covington (400-meter dash 50.1), Burgan (110-meter hurtles 14.8, high jump 6’2”), Brooks, Logan, Dawson, and Covington (4x200-meter relay 1:29.7). This year could not have been accomplished without the coaching staff: Coach Tom O’Neil, Coach Larry O’Neil, Coach Fassnacht, Coach Sherman, and Coach Merz. They take time out of their day when they don’t have to and stay with the program whether we win or lose. They put more to this program than anyone could imagine, and I can only hope that we earned their respect the way that they’ve earned ours. They deserved this championship as much as we did. We would never be the team we are today if it weren’t for them.