Morrow’s Ayrian Evans laughes at a teammate while warming up for the 200-meters at Friday’s Region 4-AAAA Championships preliminaries at Twelve Oaks Stadium. Evans ran 21.64 seconds in the prelims for the top seed in Saturday’s finals.
For about a week, Morrow’s Ayrian Evans tried to prepare himself mentally for the possibility that he would not be able to run the 400-meters during the Region 4-AAAA Championships.
A hamstring and quadricep muscle injury had been hampering the senior. After anchoring the 400 relay team to a first place finish during Friday’s preliminaries, Evans wanted to give the 400 a try.
As the gun sounded during the 400 prelims at Twelve Oaks Stadium, the University of Georgia signee couldn’t make it out the blocks. While the other competitors in the heat were racing around the track, Evans had to be helped off the track.
His last shot at a state title in his signature event was over.
“I felt good after the 400 relay and thought that I could go,” Evans said. “I had been preparing myself in case I couldn’t run it. It wass disappointing when it happened.”
But instead of feeling sorry for himself, Evans used it as motivation for his other individual event — the 200.
Determined to make it to Sectionals in an individual race, Evans had a prelim-best of 21.64 seconds to head into Saturday’s finals as the top seed.
“It was just desired by Ayrian,” Morrow coach Kerry York said. “It was just his will to run hard. He was kind of down after the 400 because that is his event. He wanted to run and compete.”
Although he will not get a shot in the finals in the 400, Evans’ teammate Adolphus Gray has the top time. He had a time of 49.05 seconds to grab the top seed in Saturday’s finals at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
“I’m quite pleased with my effort,” Gray said. “I think I set myself up well. Of course, I’m disappointed for Ayrian because we are good friends. When we run together great things usually happen. My main concern is that he gets well.”
York held Evans out of the 1,600 relay in order for him to rest his leg. Evans is expected to run on the 400 relay and compete in the 200 in the finals.
“The 400 is my race, and naturally I’m disappointed that I won't get to run it,” Evans said. “I’m still kind of hurt, but I have to push through it.”
Evans was trying to get under 47 seconds in order to increase his scholarship money at Georgia. He said he has had a brief conversation with the Georgia coaching staff about the injury.
After the state meet next month, Evans said he will take a couple weeks off to let the injury heel before competing in summer track.
“I still have the summer season ahead of me,” Evans said. “I’m pleased with Adophus getting a shot in the 400. I’m glad somebody from Morrow will be able to represent.”
Gray is also looking to get in the 47s to increase his scholarship money. He has offers from Georgia and Tennessee.
“I’m going to make my mind up after the season,” Gray said. “Right now, I’m just concentrating on finishing up strong.”