Once the schools merged in 1989 to become the present-day Campbell, the past transferred as well, and on Thursday, that history was unveiled in an informal ceremony announcing the first class of athletes into the track and field program’s hall of fame.
The inaugural group included all of the program’s state champions — boys athletes Terrance Wilson, Allan Frye and Marcelo Dunning, and girls standouts Jasmine Edgerson, Keyonna White, Brianna Chambers, Monti Willis and Kelli Hardnett.
In future years, the intent is to continue inducting more track and field standouts from the history Campbell and Wills share, including those who may have not been state champions.
“This is the first year that the school has assembled an archive of some of the memorable track and field athletes,” said Mike McCloud, who coached the Wills track and field program from 1981-86 and returned to coach at Campbell from 1993 until his retirement following the 2013 season.
“We have some (displays) for our state and region meet finishes, and for other events, but we never had something acknowledging what our individual athletes had done until this hall of fame. We’re very proud of our athletes for what they did for our program, and for what they did as students at our school, and after they left here.”
Wilson, a high school all-American who went on to become a college all-American at North Carolina, was a state champion hurdler for Campbell. He recently returned to the school as an assistant coach to help train the next wave of Spartan athletes.
“This is big for me,” Wilson said. “When I came here as a student, we weren’t really known for our track and field program. But, over time, we’ve managed to set the tone, and to see this dedication and have us immortalized like this feels really good.
“This place is like home for me, and people will be able to walk past these halls and feel a connection to its past because of the history they’ll see here. It’s a big thing and I’m really proud we get to share this with the community.”
As Wilson moved on to his successful college career, Dunning soon arrived at Campbell, where he was a standout middle-distance and distance runner. He won a state championship in the 800-meter run in 2000.
Willis, who owns school records in the 300 hurdles and 800 run, was part of the 1,600 relay team that won the Class AAAAA state championship in 2010.
“I’m really excited about being in the hall of fame,” said Willis, a rising sophomore at Western Kentucky. “I had some great coaches here and the team was close and competitive. We knew we’d do great things while we were here and this is the result of that.
“It feels great to know we were able to continue the history of track and field at Campbell.”
Hardnett, Chambers and White were also part of the champion relay team. Hardnett also owns individual school records in the long jump, 200 dash and 400 run.
“This is really exciting,” said Hardnett, a rising sophomore at Houston. “I know I tried to get records (on the wall) when I ran here, so it’s good that people will be able to see all of this. It’s an honor to be a part of history and to be able to come back and see the pictures and know that I added to Campbell’s legacy.”
Frye, a 2013 graduate, won state titles in the 300 hurdles in 2012 and ’13, then captured a state championship in the 110 hurdles this past season. He also owns the school records in both of those events, besting the times once set by Wilson.
Edgerson was another dominating hurdler in her time at Campbell, winning three straight state championships at 100 meters from 2007-09. She recently completed a four-year career as a hurdler and sprinter at Clemson.
Frye, Wilson and McCloud helped arrange the contents inside the hall of fame display.
“Coach McCloud had the idea, and coach Wilson wanted me to help organize the things that went inside,” said Frye, a rising freshman at Norfolk State. “I’m glad I helped. I never really had all of this attention before last season, so to be recognized for what I did here feels good. It’s always nice to be remembered.”