From baseball to javelin, UNC thrower aims high
Posted April 18, 2013
When it comes to throwing the javelin North Carolina's Houston Summers is about as new as it gets.
"I had never even been to a track meet before, so when I got here I was like this is really really unusual, and I'd never even touched a javelin in my life," said Summers.
A family friend talked him into trying track and field at Carolina. In the span of a year Summers has gone from novice to expert, working his way onto the Tar Heel team and earning a spot in this weekend’s ACC championships.
"And the goal is to go out there and just score points for the team and hit a mark that's going to qualify me for Regionals," said Summers.
But Summers is no ordinary student-athlete, he’s a 25-year-old college freshman, back in school after spending 6 years playing minor league baseball.
"That's really what kind of prepared me for this, one day you're 0-4 the next day you're 4-4. You got to learn how to balance that out," Summers said. "Here you know some days I come out and throw great, other days it's not very good at all. I think that experience with baseball with those ups and downs has definitely helped me keep things in perspective in understanding about the big picture here."
Summers has set lofty goals for himself – hoping to make the Olympic trials in three years. And off the field he plans to go into medicine, a dream that dates back to his childhood, when doctors removed a softball-sized tumor from his head.
"The impression that they had on me, was like 'wow they literally gave me a second chance to do whatever I wanted to do in life' and that's exactly the impression I want to have on other young kids," Summers said.
Houston Summers has come a long way and he plans to go even farther, one javelin throw at a time.