Former St. Augustine’s track star heads to Tokyo Olympics as member of Jamaican hurdle team

Japan 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As a member of the St. Augustine’s track team Shawn Rowe was a three-time NCAA Division II National Champion. He was a six-time All-American.

Rowe’s been there and done that, but as a member of the Jamaican 400-meter hurdle Olympic team, this is going to be like nothing he’s ever experienced.

“This one is special. This is the highest you can ever go on track,” said Rowe. “It’s my first time so I’m like a newbie to the Olympics.”

To get ready, he went with what worked, calling on his former Falcons coach Sandy Chapman who has confidence Shane can more than hold his own on the world stage.

“As long as I can get in his head and get him to do how we practice he is going to be fine,” said Chapman. “If we can get by that first race then we worry about the next race and how we’re going to attack it and go from there.”

A man of many talents, Rowe credits his Jamaican upbringing for his humble nature and drive to succeed. He chronicled the experience in a book he wrote titled “Hurdling my Barriers.”

“I told myself anything I did in high school I’ll make sure I’ll perfect in college,” said Rowe. “I feel like what I’m bringing from Jamaica kind of carried over into college and made me the way I am today.”

And he heads to Tokyo knowing he not only has the support of his Jamaican family but also everyone from his extended family here in North Carolina.

“I didn’t realize so many people knew about track and were congratulating me for. I got a lot of DM’s,” said Rowe. “I’m just really appreciating so I just take all that with me to represent my friends and family and coaches here in Raleigh.”

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