Yesterday was a huge day for Rowan’s Francis Terry.
He didn’t win and he didn’t PR, but he did something he hasn’t done since 2018.
Terry, a two-time All-America middle-distance runner for Rowan out of Sterling High, ended a 20-month layoff by placing second in the 400 at the Coach I Open at the Schnader Field House at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.
Terry ran 50.51 and finished just behind teammate Justin Bishop from Mainland Regional, who won the race in 50.03. Terry and Bishop are the last two NJAC 400 winners.
Terry ran as fast as 47.55 for Rowan in 2018. He placed 5th in the 400 at NCAAs, he won the NJAC and AARFTFC titles, and he anchored Rowan’s 3:11.99 4-by-4 at Penn and 3rd-place 4-by-4 at nationals (Bishop ran the second leg on both).
It was a heck of a season, especially considering that Terry’s best high school time was 49.37, and he didn’t break 50 seconds during his one year at Neumann University in Aston, Pa.
But after NCAAs wrapped up on May 26, 2018, we never saw Francis’ name again.
Rowan’s web site didn’t mention Terry’s layoff in its brief synopsis of the meet, so we’re not sure if he was hurt or just took a year off from track.
But really it doesn’t matter. We’re just happy he’s back because the world needs more South Jersey 47-point quarter-milers!
Bishop and Terry now rank No. 1 and No. 3 in the NJAC this spring, with Dave Etienne of New Jersey City second at 50.38.
Terry has an indoor PR of 48.76 from the 2018 NJAC indoor meet. Rowan is back in action next Saturday and Sunday at the Bomber Invitational at Ithaca.