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Prep track: North’s Bostick, Smith win titles

By Bret Strelow
Salisbury Post
GREENSBORO ó John Bostick couldn’t catch up to fellow North Rowan competitor Rodney Smith, but his message did.
Bostick set the 2A state meet record with a winning time of 14.10 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, then finished second behind Smith in the 300-meter hurdles Friday afternoon at North Carolina A&T.
North’s boys placed second in the team standings with 36 points, and Shelby captured the title with 611/2.
Bostick was attempting to repeat as the state champion in both hurdling events, and Smith acted as a spoiler with his surprise victory.
Bostick trailed Smith throughout the final of the 300 hurdles but continuously barked words of encouragement to his teammate.
“He was coaching behind me,” Smith said. “He was back there telling me, ‘Come on boy, you’ve got it. You’ve got it.’ I heard his voice out there. I should have let him have it, but I had to go all the way this year.
“He’s a quiet guy, but when he runs, he’s real supportive. John Boy, no matter what happens ó he can get cheated or someone beats him ó he’ll always shake the winner’s hand or is always smiling.”
Smith and Bostick were gasping for air as soon as they crossed the finish line. Smith recorded a time of 39.16 seconds, and Bostick followed with a 39.18.
Bostick wrapped his arms around Smith, who fell to the ground and pulled Bostick down with him. Smith lay face down on the track until Bostick lifted him to his feet.
“People say track is all individual because you’re running by yourself, but teamwork is where points come from,” Bostick said. “It’s fun to be competitive against each other.”
Bostick didn’t face much competition in the 110 hurdles.
He ran a 14.10 in the preliminary round and matched that time in the final to break the 2A meet record previously set in 1999, when Chris Douglas of Bandys won with a 14.18.
Bostick beat Owen’s Michael Simmerson by 0.34 seconds.
“I was feeling great at the beginning; I was ready for the gun to go off,” Bostick said. “I saw a dude jump right there at the end, but I wasn’t focused on him. I was focused on the gun. We got to about the third hurdle, and it was over.”
Bostick, who won the event with a wind-aided time of 14.11 last year, finished his North career with five state titles as a hurdler.
He moved to the area from Concord late in his freshman year and broke through last February with his first of back-to-back indoor victories in the 55-meter hurdles.
“I never thought I would come up here and become a track runner like I’ve become,” Bostick said. “It’s surprising to me, but it’s the hard work going for me. You like something, you’re gonna do it.”
On Friday, North had only six competing athletes ó half of Shelby’s total ó and six of the Cavaliers’ eight entries scored. Smith and Daishion Barger unexpectedly fell short of joining Bostick in the final of the 110 hurdles.
Smith hesitated at the start of his preliminary heat and finished fifth with a time of 15.64. The top four in two separate heats advanced to the final.
Smith said he lost his balance after reacting to an unflagged false start from another runner, and he still had a better time than three of the four qualifiers from the other heat. Six times in the final were faster than Smith’s preliminary effort.
Barger, who participated in Simmerson’s heat, was in second place when he stumbled and fell between the last two hurdles. He finished the race and crossed with a last-place time of 18.03.
At most, North could have earned 14 more points with Smith and Barger in the final.
“Put those two back in it, we’re pretty close in the running with Shelby,” North coach Matt Price said. “That hurt, but all in all, we had a good day.”
Bostick, Smith and Barger ran in two relays. Corey Angle contributed to the 4×400 team that finished seventh with a time of 3:34.30, and Lathan Charleston helped the 4×200 team take fourth with a 1:31.03.
In that event, the Cavs won a first session reserved for the lower-seeded squads.
“Our coach told us all week we had to get out and disrupt that second heat by putting up a good time,” Charleston said.
Anthony Imes was disappointed with his throw of 139 feet, 8 inches in the discus, but he scored one point with an eighth-place showing.
Imes, competing in a North uniform for the final time, fulfilled a goal by qualifying for the state meet.
“I accomplished a goal I’ve had set since my freshman year,” Imes said. “I fought for it all summer, went through training and finally made it.”
Smith felt the same satisfaction.
In the 300 hurdles at North’s four main meets ó the county, conference, regional and state competitions ó Bostick had finished ahead of Smith eight straight times while registering seven victories.
Smith hadn’t beaten Bostick in one of those settings since 2006. Phillip Bush won the CCC title that year, and Smith finished second. Bostick claimed third.
“Being senior year, you have to go all out,” Smith said. “When it hurts, you have to bring out what you learned as a freshman, sophomore, the experience you had as a junior.”
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Romar Morris (ninth in the 100) and A.J. Ford (12th in the shot put) represented Salisbury’s boys, and the girls placed sixth with 24 points. Burlington Cummings, led by four-time champion Sherice Walker, won with 109 points. Cardinal Gibbons took second with 801/2.
“Cardinal Gibbons is fast in the distance, and Cummings is fast in the hurdles and the jumps,” Salisbury coach Trella McLean said. “Our girls still went out and placed fourth or fifth in most of the events we competed in.”
McLean complimented Todd Allen for his work with Salisbury’s hurdlers and jumpers.
The Hornets received individual scoring efforts from Shi-Heria Shipp (fourth in the long jump, eighth in the high jump), Dasia McGill (fifth in the 100 hurdles, seventh in the triple jump), Alisha Bradshaw (fifth in the shot put, seventh in the discus) and Katherine Shields (seventh in the 3,200).
Nickola Bradshaw, Lauren Caldwell and Chantelle Isaac ó all seniors ó participated in two relays.Symone Knox ran for the seventh-place 4×100 team, and Shipp ran a fast leg for the 4×200 team that placed fourth with a time of 1:46.53.
“She really helped that relay team make the best time they’ve made,” McLean said. “That’s the best they’ve ran in the last four years.”
North Rowan’s girls finished 22nd with nine points.
Tatiana Banks, Cristen Jones and Tameisha Allen ran in the two relays that scored. Akevia Charleston joined them on the sixth-place 4×400 team, and Corbin Bennett was part of the eighth-place 4×200 team. Banks took seventh in the 400.
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Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or bstrelow@salisburypost.com.

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