GENEVA – As he lie in his hospital bed following a single car crash three years ago, Antone Truss faced a realization that ultimately led to him to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
“I didn’t feel much pain while in the hospital and still wasn’t taking it (the crash) seriously,” said Truss. “The doctor came back needing a urine sample and they told me I had a significant amount of blood in my urine and I had kidney or liver damage. It was at that moment, I realized I had this internal damage and bleeding and the smallest things can make the biggest impact so I had to change what I was doing.
“The timing of my accident and me swerving the other way, led to me to not flying off the highway,” he continued. “If it would have been three seconds later, we wouldn’t have hit the middle barrier, but we would have flown into the rest of the highway and we would have died. I honestly thought I should have died in that accident. It made me realize I needed to change some of the things I was doing and I needed to start doing things that I loved.”
Truss, a Yellow Springs High School graduate, left Wilmington College after his freshman year with a 2.2 grade point average, and spent the next couple of years working odd jobs in Cleveland and later in Sidney. But, he knew he was on the fast road to nowhere.
“Those years weren’t good years in my book, but they taught me what wanted to do and what I loved – so I appreciate those two and a half years I took off,” said Truss. “I don’t think I would be here without taking those two and a half years off. Without those years off, I wouldn’t have taken school as serious. The time off and the mental development allowed me to be here today.”
With Wilmington adding the exercise science major, along with Truss’s quest for a greater knowledge base and a wanting to resume his track and field career, the former Bulldog re-enrolled in the spring of 2016.
He has thrived with his second chance. He earned a 3.25 during the fall semester and a 3.7 GPA in the recently completed spring semester, and is now a two-time national qualifier in track and field.
During Friday’s NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field championship held at the SPIRE Institute, Truss placed 13th of 20 competitors. He cleared his first two heights on the first attempt, needed two jumps to clear 2.0 meters before missing all three jumps at 2.04 meters.
“I am glad I made it here and thankful for Ron (Combs, WC head coach) for being patient with me as I had a foot injury,” said Truss. “This is the first time my foot has felt 100 percent and to be honest, I am a little angry about the outcome – mostly due to sloppiness on my end. Next year will be a completely different story.”