Off to college

Standout Watauga hurdler Luke Drimmonds (middle) will run for Embry-Riddle Aerpmaitocal University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

BOONE — Watauga boys’ track and field standout Luke Drummonds simply was following a family tradition when he signed a letter of intent to run track at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Drummonds’ four sisters, Shelby, Taylor, Savannah and Kinsey, have all participated in collegiate sports. Luke will do the same after he signed to run at Embry-Riddle.

Drummonds started his prep track and field career as a pole vaulter and as a hurdler. Watauga coach Randy McDonough said the team wanted to get more points out of Drummonds, and the coach felt Drummonds could help at the jumps.

The long jump and the triple jump were added to Drummonds’ responsibilities, and McDonough said the points soon followed.

“I think he’s going to keep doing what he’s been doing, the triple jump and the hurdles,” McDonough said. “His mom told me that he is back interested in pole vaulting.”

It wasn’t always that way, but McDonough said Drummonds learned the techniques of triple jumping by his sophomore year. Triple jumping consists of more than long jumping, which requires the jumper to run up to a plank, take off with one foot and leap as far as the jumper can.

Triple jumping requires the jumper to long jump off a plank, but then land on the same foot. He then takes a step forward and leaps his final jump to the sand pit.

“He picked it up really quickly by his sophomore year,” McDonough said of Drummonds’ triple jumping. “In his freshman year, he was just hurdling and pole vaulting and in his sophomore year we were trying to find one more event for him. He tried long and triple and he did O.K in the long jump, but I guess those long limbs of his, the triple jump was made for him.”

McDonough said the biggest problem the Watauga coaching staff had to solve with Drummonds was getting him enough practice time for each event. He said that should not be a problem in college.

“He was our main person that we had,” McDonough said. “He could do four events in the meets and I think if we could have honed in on a couple of things he could have been better at them. When he gets to college, they’ll have a full day for the triple jump or a full day to hurdle where we had to break them up.”

McDonough predicted that Drummonds would get an excellent education at Embry-Riddle.

“A lot of their people go on to work for NASA,” McDonough said. “He loves science. That is his thing. For a while, we thought he was going to give up track to concentrate on his academics and he stayed with the track, but he is as smart as the come and he’s going to do big things later on.”

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