Roberson junior Drew Barker hasn’t broken every school record for the hurdles yet.
Just give him time.
“It’s a lot of fun to see a guy with incredible ability like Drew,” Rams track coach Andrew Devine said.
“Even though it’s still pretty raw, he has really come around, especially in the last year.”
Roberson’s record book shows it.
Barker ran the fastest 55-meter hurdles time in Rams history (7.60 seconds) at the Feb. 9 NCHSAA 4-A indoor track meet. Less than a month later, he set the record for the 110-meter hurdles (14.30) at one of the season’s first outdoor meets in Skyland.
All that’s left untouched is a 23-year-old mark in the 300-meter hurdles (39.24), which currently belongs to Melvin Snipes.
“And I expect that one to go down soon,” Devine said.
Barker has recorded the fastest reported times in the area this spring — his season-best in the 300-meter hurdles is 41.30.
However, Western North Carolina’s top hurdler may have never found the sport without a mother’s intuition. Barker’s mother, Felicia, recognized his speed at a young age.
“That’s how I got started,” Barker said.
“My mom thought I was pretty fast, and she said I should go out for the middle school team. Everyone had to jump over a hurdle on the first day, and everyone said I was good at it. I liked it right away.”
Barker devotes himself year-round to track as a member of the Asheville Lightning and trains under Reynolds assistant coach Lee Pantas, who has produced multiple collegiate hurdlers from Western North Carolina.
“(Pantas) knows every little detail,” Barker said.
“We have such a good relationship. We really work well together.”
Barker will be in familiar surroundings today when Roberson hosts the Buncombe County meet. Field events and preliminary races are scheduled to begin around 2 p.m.
“It’s going to be nice to run at home in a meet like this,” Barker said.
“That’s where I practice. I’m used to the track. I’m used to the hurdles, and it’s always nice to not have to ride on an activity bus. It’s a good home team advantage for us.”