Prep Track: East boys win NPC title
By Ronnie Gallagher
GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s Evan Hiatt had just won the 400 meters in the NPC track meet Wednesday and wore a look that said he couldn’t believe it.
Rather, he couldn’t believe he had beaten his teammate, Ben Hancock, to the wire.
Asked if he had ever beaten Hancock, Hiatt laughed, “Never. I just took off in the 200 faster. Ben’s an awesome runner. He wins a lot more than I do.”
Hancock didn’t get down about his defeat to Hiatt 51.98 to 52.01. He eventually scored 26 points by winning the 200, being a part of the winning 4×400 relay and coming in second in the 100. He led the Mustangs to another league championship, earning the sprint MVP award.
East was stretched to the limit by West Rowan before the Mustangs pulled away late to win 193-151. South was third (64) followed by Carson (52), West Iredell (46), Statesville (35) and North Iredell (13).
“They had a few more horses,” said West coach Ralph Ellis of East.
The finish would have probably been closer if West’s sprinter and defending state champion hurdler Daishion Barger had competed. He is still suffering from a broken hand.
“That’s pretty much 20 points you can count on,” Ellis said.
As far as the 400 finish, East coach Rick Roseman was shocked. He thought Hancock had won.
“Here’s the way I feel about it,” he said. “If we take 1 and 2, I don’t care who’s 1 and who’s 2.”
With a chuckle, Roseman added, “It should tick Ben off and make him faster.”
East and West were 1-2 in all but three events. Those three wins belonged to South Rowan. Michael York was a part of all three, winning the 1600, the 3200 and helping the 4×800 relay team win. York scored 20 of the team’s 64.
“He’s one of the classics,” Roseman praised. “He’s one of the gutsiest runners this county has ever had. Distance runners don’t take much time off.”
East got its usual victories in the shot put from Sam Sherman (53-11) and the discus from Jordan Hopper (144-10).
“Jordan and Sam have high aspirations to finish high in the state,” Roseman said.
East picked up important points in the pole vault as Dillon Arey and Drew Miller were 1-2.
West won several sprints, including C.J. Ellis in the 100 (“he’s only lost once,” Ellis said. “To Daishion.”). The Falcons won the 4×200 and 4×100. Jamarian Mabry and Trey Mashore were 1-2 in the long jump.
The triple jump is a good example of how it was basically an East-West track meet. West’s William Camps and Quinton Phifer were 1-2 but East was 3-4 with Calvin Edwards and Hakeem Gittens.
In the end, East had too much firepower and tried to forget its only loss of the season to North Rowan in the county meet. Hiatt and the Mustangs seem fired up for the regionals May 7 at Mount Pleasant.
“We’re not really cocky,” Hiatt said. “We’re confident. “We know we just have to do things right. We didn’t do it at the county meet like we should have.”
NOTES: West’s Phifer was the MVP in field events and South’s York was distance MVP. … Other East firsts were by Chase Brown in the 110 hurdles, Cole Honeycutt in the 800 and the 4×400 relay team of Hancock, Honeycutt, Hiatt and Joseph Furtado. … Other West winners were Trey Cuthbertson in the 300 hurdles, Phifer in the high jump and the 4×100 relay team. … Ellis said a pin was placed in Barger’s hand and he should be ready for the regionals.