COLUMBUS--Ohio State Senior and Pickerington North High School graduate and sprinter Nick Gray entered the university as a freshman with a goal of breaking Jesse Owens’ 80-year record in the 100-meter dash.
- Ohio State University sprinter star Nick Gray will go down as one of the most decorated track athletes of all time
- Last month he broke a record that stood for more than eight decades by a man who won four medals in the 1936 Olympics— Jesse Owens
- Gray holds OSU records for the 100-and 200-meter races
Last month he did just that during a race at the University of South Carolina.
Gray ran the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.17, beating Owens' school record of 10.2 set in 1936.
Ohio State Director of Track and Field Karen Dennis says the experience was a myriad of emotions for the entire program.
“To see that record go down, it’s kind of bittersweet,” said Dennis. “We all felt that same way. But at the same time, I think if Jesse was here with us, I think he would say well done son.”
Gray who also holds the Ohio State 200-meter dash record says he cherishes the underdog role, and remains humbled by all the local and national fanfare.
“A lot of people who have congratulated me are also from here, you know I'm home grown. It is a special kind of thing, like I can't describe how impactful it is,” said Gray.
All the extra attention has forced Gray to face his fear of public speaking.
The Pickerington native says he's dealt with stuttering his entire life, and It’s one of the reasons he started track in 88th grade.
But he's not alone. More than 70 million people across the globe have the communication disorder.
“You get side eyes, laughs and everything and I hated that,” said Gray. “So, I got focused in the track after I got good, I didn't have to talk anymore. But I've had speech classes forever now. Eventually I know it will work out. But now I just have to live with it.”
Gray’s girlfriend Karrington, a runner herself at Ohio State, has been by his side since the two began dating in high school.