Record-breaking jumper Randolph set to be enshrined|Track star to enter WOF on Friday

Published 7:50 pm Thursday, September 30, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
When Earl Randolph was in 10th grade it would have been a long jump to assume that the next year he would set a school record in track and field, never mind go on to win a national championship in college.
The object of Randolph’s affection at that time was basketball, which is what led him to track and field in the first place.
“It was towards the spring time and I wasn’t doing anything,” Randolph said. “One of my friends was very good track athlete and I thought I would go out there after talking to him. … It was a good way to stay in shape for basketball season. In the beginning I just thought it was something that I would do on the side to stay in shape.”
Randolph’s venture into track and field paid off as it earned him a scholarship to St. Augustine College, as well as a spot in Pam Pack history as he, along with Joe Randolph (football, track and field), Ed Lucas (football) and Justin “Weasel” Moore (wrestling) will be inducted into the Washington Walk of Fame during halftime of the Pam Pack-West Craven football game Friday night.
While Randolph may have taken a casual approach to track and field, it was clear from the start that the junior had talent that was beyond the average athlete.
Randolph participated in the triple jump, 400-meter sprint, long jump and the mile relay, and though he had success in each, it was when he competed in the jumping events that made fans and coaches alike jump out of their seats.
After dazzling at meet early in his career, Randolph said the realization of his abilities finally sunk in after being approached by an opposing coach.
“We were at a track meet in New Bern and there was a track coach there from Farmville,” Randolph said. “He pulled me to the side and said he saw some things that I was doing technique-wise that weren’t right and said that it appeared I had outstanding jumping ability and that if I got my technique right I could be one of the best in the nation.
“At the time I didn’t believe it, but I went back and worked with my coach Reggie Baker and it turned out in my senior year that, that was the truth. I became one of the best triple jumpers in the nation.”
By the end of Randolph’s rookie year in track he had broken the Washington triple jump record of 45-feet, 8-inches which was held by two men, one of them being Dominique Wilkins. Randolph ended his junior campaign making it all the way to the east regional.
As a senior Randolph, a shooting guard, led the basketball team in scoring as the conference-winning Pam Pack hoops team finished with a 21-7 record and made it to the district championship round of the playoffs.
Randolph’s success continued as he entered his final track and field season with a new found intensity.
“I just had more consistency, I knew what I was doing my senior year,” Randolph said. “My junior year I didn’t have a clue. I was out there and probably not taking it as serious as I should have. But I learned the true technique and came back in my senior year and broke my record in the first track meet of the season.”
Randolph would continue to incrementally break his record throughout the season and have a one of the best year’s a Pam Pack athlete could have.
“I came back my senior year ranked No. 1 in the state in triple jump and made it to the state championship in long jump and triple jump,” Randolph said. “ I was the state runner up in the triple jump and I took fourth in the long jump in 1985.
“My triple jump of 49-feet, 9-inches in my senior year was the fourth longest in the nation at that time.”
Randolph would go on and accept a scholarship to participate in track and field at St. Augustine College in Raleigh where he would help his team win three Div. II national championships. Randolph won an individual national title in the triple jump in 1989. That year Randolph jumped a personal-best 54-feet, 4-inches.
Randolph is married to his wife Chandra, and has a 25-year old son named Ricardo and a 24-year old daughter named Chasitty.