High School Sports

Track: Rowland rewrites boys record book

En route to three golds, Dorman senior erases 17-year-old mark in 100; 200 record eludes him

By the time Marcus Rowland reached the finish of the 200-meter dash Saturday at Spring Valley’s Harry Parone Stadium, the Dorman senior knew he had not set a state record.

It didn’t matter.

Earlier, Rowland broke the 17-year-old record in the 100 with a 10.35-second effort and ran the anchor leg of the Cavaliers’ record-breaking 400 relay team, which ran a 41.13. His efforts led Dorman to its second consecutive Class 4A title.

So despite his 21.33 in the 200, Rowland was content with a third gold medal.

“I’m satisfied just to have finished,” said Rowland, who felt his hamstring tighten up midrace. “Once I felt the pull, that’s all I wanted was to just finish first.”

For Rowland, who is headed to Auburn on a track scholarship, the 100 record (10.4 seconds) had been his dangling carrot. It had been held since 1991 by Stephen Davis, another Spartanburg-area athlete who went on to Auburn.

“It’s a record that’s been held for so long, and I’ve really been focused on it all season,” he said. “It was so exciting to finally get it.”

Rowland said he prized the relay record as much as his individual one.

“My teammates helped me and I helped them, so I’m proud that we worked together as team to accomplish that,” he said.

Dorman finished with 103½ points; runner-up Wando finished with 47.

“It’s just fantastic,” Dorman coach Jeff Buys said. “I’m very happy for these kids.”

In the final event of the meet, Dorman fielded an all-senior 1,600-relay team, and the four ended their careers with one more gold.

“We were going to go for the record, but we decided it would be enough just to win,” said Juan Thompson, who ran the anchor leg.

Like Rowland, Thompson was quick to honor his teammates. Christian Graham gave the Cavaliers a strong start. Rowland and Christopher Graham ran despite hamstring troubles earlier in the day.

“They did all the work,” Thompson said. “I just took it home.”


Ridge View High junior Sierra Henderson turned in a record-breaking day, although she didn’t immediately know it.

Henderson knew after walking off the track after the 800 that her 2:13.30 was a personal best.

Only after she received her gold medal and the other contestants had left the podium, however, did officials realize Henderson had broken Jessica Nichols’ 2005 record of 2:14.10.

“I thought I had the record, but I didn’t want to say anything,” Henderson said.

Henderson’s victory was the lone one by a Midlands’ area girl in a class dominated by Rock Hill- and Spartanburg-area schools.

Spartanburg won the girls team title with a third-place finish in the final event. The Vikings trailed Northwestern by four points going into the 1,600 relay, but the Trojans didn’t have a team in the event. Spartanburg finished with 68 points. Northwestern was runner-up with 66 points.

Rock Hill senior Erika Owens was the big winner, claiming individual gold in the 100 and 200 and running a leg on the winning 400-relay team.

Reach Nelson at (803) 771-8419.