Garner coach George Gary calls the Greater Neuse River Conference one of the best track and field conference in the state. It’s easy to point to the several titles Southeast Raleigh and Knightdale have won to understand why.
But now, his Trojans are a big reason why he can make that claim.
Garner finished higher than it ever had in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A indoor track and field championships last Saturday as the boys tied for third with defending champion Green Hope.
Before the meet, Gary told his team to go all out and try to set new personal records.
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“We pretty much did that for the most part,” the ninth-year coach said.
Garner didn’t do it with a lot of medals – only the 4-by-200 relay (third), high jumper Randolph Ross (second) and the 4-by-400 relay team (fourth) reached the podium. But the Trojans picked up points in a number of events.
The 4-by-400 relay team’s finish was unexpected – it ran in one of the earlier heats, but only a few in the last heat ran faster.
Gary said athletes at the school are more aware than they once were about the benefits of track and field. The morning announcements at school sometimes run down the track team’s accomplishments.
Now, the program has one of its biggest accomplishments yet.
“Now it’s created a buzz, and now kids know that not just football gets notoriety or not just basketball,” Gary said. “These kids are special and deserve to be recognized.”