By Steve Keenan
This spring, Wes Stowers is patrolling center field for the Oak Hill High baseball team.
Next spring, he should be getting ready for the track and field postseason at his new college of choice, West Virginia Wesleyan.
Stowers signed a letter of intent recently to attend Buckhannon-based Wesleyan and run track and cross country for the Bobcats.
“I’m pumped and ready to go,” he said. “I’m excited to run for Coach (Jesse) Skiles and run with the recruits going up and the guys already on the team.”
Stowers, who ran cross country for the Red Devils in the fall then spent his springs on the baseball diamond, will run both cross country and track at Wesleyan.
“Baseball is definitely going to be hard to get over,” said Stowers, who placed sixth and earned all-state status in the Class AAA cross country championship last fall and was an all-state Class AA-A runner the previous year. “I’ve really enjoyed running. Cross country has opened up my love for running.”
At Wesleyan, he’ll run track for the first time since middle school. “My favorite event is the 800, but Dad (Dan, a former Glenville State College and Park College standout) had a lot of success in the 3000 steeple, so ...”
To be prepared for competition at the next level, he says he’ll have to “up my mileage, do a lot of core work and do some hill work to build up extra strength.”
Stowers, a 4.0 student, also anticipates attending “a great academic school.” He’ll pursue an athletic training degree.
“It will hurt us pretty bad losing him,” Oak Hill cross country coach George Smith said of Stowers. “I (saw) him in the seventh grade and knew (he) was gonna be special.
“It’s hard to replace a guy with a 16:09 (5-kilometer time). He’s a big loss.”