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DONOVAN TERRY: FINDING HIS LANE

Posted on Aug 21 2020 12:41 AM

Among the 2024 class of elite athletes, Donovan “Dot” Terry was known as a complimentary runner. The now-14-year-old was the lead leg on the national champion and All-American 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams for My Brother’s Keeper Track Club based in Riverview, FL. However, he was not finding the same success in his individual 100m and 200m races.

“He continued to grind in search of his own identity,” said Coach Jonathan Terry, whose club has produced 13 national champions, 48 National Champion/All-American titles, more than 80 top 8 national medals and multiple team and scoring trophies since 2014. “He realized he got stronger as the races went on, and he transitioned to the 400 and 800, keeping the 200 in his back pocket. That’s when he literally found his stride.”

Previously known by his nickname, “Dash,” Donovan started making his individual mark at longer distances. He earned his way onto the podium at national championship meets, excelling in the longer races, which prompted a switch to his new “Dot” moniker, the opposite element from the dash in Morse Code.

Donovan won his first national championship in the 800m at the 2018 AAU Junior Olympics after his AAU Club Championships. He also took silver in the 400m. Gaining confidence and developing his own identity as an elite runner, he won the 400m and earned the silver in the 800m at the AAU Indoor National Championship. He was injured before the 2019 AAU Club Championship and Junior Olympics. Although he still made the podium, he was not satisfied with his performance. He embarked on a personal mission to train harder during the off season.

“Our coaches encourage a family atmosphere in all activities, and we expect the boys to look out for each other,” noted Coach Terry. “He took on a bigger leadership role and facilitated practices, helping others improve while leading his teammates by example.”

The young runner led his middle school to its first county championship while breaking the 400m and 800m county records. Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from defending his indoor national title, he won his 7th national title at the 2020 AAU Junior Olympics in the 400m and took bronze in the 800.

Donovan exemplifies the values of his club and represents the high level of competition at the upcoming Speed Capital meets scheduled for 2021.

Now a freshman at Jesuit High School, Donovan is on course to be one of Florida’s top hybrid runners, competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and relays. His future is bright. He looks to be the game changer in his high school’s track program as he continues to develop his talent with his club.

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