Jags runner to join Lenoir-Rhyne track team

By DONNELL COLEY
Sports editor
Posted 5/27/22

Overhills runner Rodric Felton sat next to his parents, draped in red and black, proudly fixing his right hand to form an "L." 

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Jags runner to join Lenoir-Rhyne track team

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SPRING LAKE — Rodric Felton sat next to his parents, draped in red and black, proudly fixing his right hand to form an “L.” 

It was a symbolic gesture for the Overhills senior runner who recently announced his intentions to join the Lenoir-Rhyne University track and field team in front of classmates and school faculty. 

“I waited for it for four years and it’s finally here. Now I got to start a new chapter in my life,” Felton said of the signing ceremony held at the high school on May 20.

“I honestly think I’m ready for it. I have my mom, my dad and my coaches rooting for me. It feels good, I’m excited.”

Felton has been a staple of Joe Wylie’s talented sprinting program the past four seasons with multiple state qualifiers setting a standard.

Wylie recognized Felton’s potential early and is proud to see him make good on a lifelong dream.

“Just knowing his raw talent ... we told him his freshman year, ‘As long as you get your grades right, get your attitude right, there’s no doubt in my mind you can run in college,’” he said.

“Every single day, every single year, he came in and put in the work ... just watching him grow from freshman to senior year, tremendously, it’s been great.” 

The versatile runner naturally excelled in the 400-meter dash, making regionals in the event each year and even breaking the coveted 49-second threshold. 

But as he grew into a leadership role, Felton eventually expanded his list to include everything from short-distance relays to runs of longer distances like the 800, and even 5K during cross country season. 

During this year’s All American Conference championships, he helped Overhills to a first-place finish in the boys’ 4x800 relay, anchored a silver-medal effort in the 4x400 and also took second in both the 400 and 800.

The decision to choose LRU came down to fit, as Felton thought the culture would help him grow as a student-athlete. 

A conversation with the team’s coaches provided a perfect example. 

“I said, ‘I want to go to the Olympics and I want to break 46 (seconds) before I graduate college,’” Felton said.  “And they said, ‘That’s good. We hope to get you there.’” 

Once a newbie to the Jags program, Felton finds himself setting the bar for younger athletes watching him embark on a new journey. 

He hopes that his example was good enough for them to both mimic and even surpass. 

“I think I left a mark and it feels good,” Felton said. “And I hope that they keep training. I’m gonna see them next year and see what they got, see if they can beat me.”

Donnell Coley can be reached at dcoley@mydailyrecord.com or 910-230-2040.

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