Over the past few years, I have written columns on over 100 Columbia County athletes; however, some kids worthy of attention will ultimately slip through the cracks.
Of all the athletes I've failed to cover, Roy Cheney is perhaps the most deserving.
Cheney, a 2002 graduate of Evans High School, may also be the most highly decorated track and field athlete in county history.
The bottom line - this story is long overdue. Quite frankly, he has labored in obscurity over much of his brilliant prep career.
Cheney recently closed his high school career by capturing Class AAAAA state titles in both the 110-meter and 300 hurdles. His time in the 300 race was the third best time in the history of the state meet.
On Friday, Cheney will sign on the dotted line. He has secured a scholarship to run track at Clemson University.
Like most young boys, Cheney played several sports - football, baseball, etc.; but while at Columbia Middle School, he realized track would play a big role in his future.
"His coach at Columbia told us that he was definitely scholarship material," said Elaine Cheney, Roy's mother.
Cheney continued to play football through his sophomore season, but he then quit in order to focus on track.
"The (football) coaches kept pursuing him, but he just thought the threat of an injury was too big," Mrs. Cheney explained.
The decision paid off immediately. As a junior, Cheney finished fourth at state in the 110 and 300 hurdles.
His accolades and accomplishments continued into the summer seasons.
At the prestigious Golden South meet in Orlando, Cheney dominated the 110 and 400 hurdles, winning the 110 event for two straight years, and posting a first and second in the 400.
At the Taco Bell Classic in Columbia, S.C., Cheney was voted Athlete of the Meet after winning the 110 and setting a meet record in the 400.
Cheney has even won on the west coast - he took titles in the 110 and 300 hurdle events at the Arcadia Invitational in California.
These are all major accomplishments, and Cheney deserves more recognition - if he played football or baseball at this level, he would be a household name in Columbia County.
Well, at least Charles Foster knows who Roy Cheney is, and that's good, because Foster coaches the track team at Clemson University.
This Friday, Cheney officially joins the Tigers. He plans to use his track scholarship to get a degree in mechanical engineering, but you never know - with the times he's been posting in hurdles, the Olympic Games aren't out of the question.
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