Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dewald just wouldn't quit

Sometimes there's a story behind the sports that isn't evident in the statistics. Such was the case at the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A state indoor track and field championship meet in Chapel Hill.

The results for athletes in The Wilson Daily Times readership area were posted in Tuesday's edition of the WDT and noted that Hunt senior Jonas Dewald finished 11th in the boys 1,000-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 43.98 seconds.

Since there was no reporter on hand from the WDT in Eddie Smith Field House to cover the meet, the real story with Dewald wasn't reported. I'd like to share it now in this space.

Dewald, a mainstay on the Hunt soccer team for the past three years, was a part of the Warriors' 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference track championship squad last spring. He qualified for the NCHSAA 3-A outdoor meet, one of just two Warriors to do so. He began the winter indoor season hoping for a state championship in the 1,000.

As the year progressed, Dewald had to deal with painful shin splints but still posted the fourth-best time in the state in the event during the season.

In Saturday's 1,000, Dewald was in the lead in the third of four laps before stepping on the curb and twisting his right ankle — not once, but twice — doing it again on the final lap. He managed a wobby finish well out of the running for any points and his dream of a state title.

But the worst was to come for Dewald as a trip to the doctor revealed that his "shin splints" was actually a stress fracture of his right tibia that was expanded during the race. Now it's four weeks of rest before Dewald can hit the track and the soccer field this spring.

Thanks to Jonas' dad, Dr. Jon Dewald, for sharing his story. Hopefully, Jonas will heal quickly and get one more chance to compete for a state championship.

He deserves it.

Hunt's Jonas Dewald is in the lead after two laps of the 1,000-meter run in Saturday's NCHSAA 3-A championship meet

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