Jackets' Crowder a rising star
MARSHVILLE — Forest Hills High's boys track team is coming off a seventh-place finish at the 2A State Track and Field Championships, due in large part to the efforts of sophomore sprinter Juwan Crowder.
Crowder has been groomed on the track most of his life with his father, Harold Crowder, being one of the Yellow Jackets' coaches.
Juwan is also naturally competitive.
"He has a lot of heart to really push himself at practice and at the track meets," Forest Hills coach Kevin Feaster said. "He likes to win."
Crowder made a splash as a freshman in 2012, finishing eighth in the state in the 300 meter hurdles.
He followed up with four top five finishes at the 2013 state meet, including a leg on the 4x200 state championship team.
"Looking at him last year, he was real good," Feaster said. "This year he began running the 100 meter dash and he kind of surprised us early in the season with the way he ran against some of the teams in our conference. It was surprising to see him running that fast to be that young."
Crowder opted for the 100 rather than the 300 hurdles at this year's state meet.
"He made the choice himself when we asked him which one he wanted to do," Feaster said. "He kind of wanted to try to do the 100 and still be a part of the relay that he usually was with."
Crowder finished third in the 100 with a 10.96-second run in the final. Later in the day he pounded out a 22.26 second 200 for another bronze.
Crowder has laid the foundation to be a state title contender in both events as a junior in 2014.
He's already tasted gold after combining with seniors Roshad Gibson and Jonathan Wingo and junior Camry Barbour to run a 1:27.98 in the 4x200 relay.
Crowder also teamed with Wingo, Gibson and fellow sophomore D'Allo Crowder to finish fifth in the 4x100 meter relay.
Crowder was involved in all 26 points the Yellow Jackets scored at the state meet, and finished with 13.5 points.
"With the experience that he has, he just has to come in and show that he is willing to work hard and will work even harder to get better," Feaster said.
Feaster feels good about the outlook for next season with Crowder leading the way.
"We have a lot of young guys that were juniors or sophomores that will help out a lot," Feaster said. "They were a part of the other relays and they will improve a lot because it was their first year running track."