You name the event, Austin Angle has probably done it.

Jumps, relays, pole vault, middle distance, hurdles — Angle has been a versatile member of the Covington track team since he was a freshman.

Tuesday, Angle finalized his college choice.

The CHS senior committed to run at Concord University.

“My sophomore year we had a track meet at Concord,” said Angle. “That was right after they redid their track and everything. I fell in love with it, the area around it, the track there and the coaches they have. They’re really big on my major (secondary education with special needs).”

Angle also had conversations with some of the Concord runners, which this season includes a trio of Alleghany athletes — Riley Griffith, Cedric Drennen and Maggie Thompson.

“I know some of the people that run for Concord,” Angle added. “I had multiple conversations with them. The way they talked about how good the team was and the chemistry there and how good the coaches were — it was a great fit.”

Angle is a two-time state qualifier in indoor track and a three-timer in outdoors.

He pointed to a pair of Cougar coaches as having a big influence on his track career.

“When I first started running, it was (coach) Ray Sullins,” he said. “He’s the one that got me on the track. He’s the one that showed me my potential.

And then when coach (Daniel) Hamm came he pushed me a little bit more.”

Angle owns a couple of Pioneer District titles and teamed up with Brady Groves, Marvin Harvey and K.J. Moore for a third place state finish in the 4 x 100 relay his freshman year.

“Austin is a good kid and I could not be more proud of him,” said Austin Gibson, who is the head coach of both the Cougar indoor and outdoor programs. “He is one of those kids who sets his mind to things and follows through.”

Gibson is hoping Angle’s college commitment will further enhance the track program at Covington.

“I think our program is undervalued by our student body,” Gibson added. “I think Austin going to a school for track will shed light on how beneficial track and field can be to other athletics and education in general.”

Angle is also a football player at CHS and was an All-Pioneer District first team defensive back last fall, as well as a second-teamer on offense.

While holding down a job at The Greenbrier, Angle is now hoping for a chance to represent the Cougars on the football field and on the track for one final year.

High school athletics for the 2020-2021 school year remains a question mark due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I’m hoping and praying we have our seasons,” he said. “It’s senior year and I’ve looked forward to it since freshman year. I’m hoping really bad.”


Austin Angle, a senior at Covington High School, signed to run track at Concord University in a Tuesday ceremony. Left to right: Former CHS assistant track coach Daniel Hamm, Austin’s father Michael Phillips, Austin, Austin’s mother Vanessa Phillips and CHS assistant track coach Tom Persinger. (Photo Courtesy Austin Angle)