UMass Lowell Will Be a Homecoming for Oduro

February 24, 2019
No Published Caption Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Chad Garner

Special to The Sun

FITCHBURG -- Evans Oduro was comfortable as a student-athlete at Lowell High School, but the talented track star and his family packed up and moved to unfamiliar surroundings in Fitchburg before the start of his senior year.

For most, leaving the comforts of your school and athletic program would be numbing, but not for Oduro, who helped Lowell win the All-State outdoor track championship last spring. Fortunately, his transition from being a Lowell Red Raider to a Fitchburg Red Raider was easier than expected.

“The transition was smooth, actually,” said Oduro this week. “It’s different from Lowell High because it’s smaller, but it still was a good fit. It’s like a family here, just like how Lowell was.”

Oduro picked up right where he left off in Lowell, excelling both in the classroom and on the track at Fitchburg High. All that hard work has paid dividends.

Surrounded by family, teammates, coaches and administrators in the library, Oduro officially signed his National Letter of Intent to run track at Division 1 UMass Lowell in the spring.

“It’s a big weight to take off my shoulders,” said Oduro. “I’m really happy to be able to have a place to go after I graduate.

“It really felt like home when I visited there, and I came from Lowell so it’s kind of a way to go back. I have a lot of memories in Lowell, so it was a good place for me to go back there for another four years.”

Oduro’s mother, Rita, was filled with emotion after watching her oldest of four boys sign his letter to attend UMass Lowell.

“I’m so proud of him because when we moved here it wasn’t easy,” she said. “His last year to finish school and he changed schools; it wasn’t easy.”

Oduro’s mother has always preached that academics come first.

“You always want to keep that in mind,” Oduro said. “Not everyone is going to be a professional athlete when you grow up, so you want to keep that in mind that you should take academics seriously and sports come second.”

Evans has been a gem for Fitchburg’s track team this winter. “He’s definitely a driven kid, definitely self-motivated,” said FHS track coach Sara DiPilato Lamey. “He fits in great with the kids. He’s made a really smooth transition.”

The senior has broken both the long jump school record (21-11) and the triple jump school record (43-7.5). The long-jump record was previously held by coach James McCall, who was in attendance at Oduro’s signing.

Oduro also won the hurdles at the league meet and at districts. His best time in the 55-meter hurdles is 7.80, which he set at last week’s state qualifier.