First Posted: 5/20/2011
ROWLAND — Even though his coaches knew he was capable of big things, South Robeson’s Eric Hamilton wasn’t as sure.
“My coaches expected it from me, but for me personally, I thought I was going to freeze out there,” Hamilton said about last week’s 1A Southeast regional meet. “There were a lot of guys I hadn’t raced or seen. They had better times than mine.”
After shrugging off his doubts, Hamilton performed just as his coaches thought he would – winning the 200-meter run and finishing in a tie for second in the 100-meter run. The senior also helped the Mustangs’ 4×100- and 4×200-meter relay teams take third and second, respectively.
Hamilton led South Robeson to a second-place finish at the regional meet and now turns his attention to today’s state meet at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. Hamilton is seeded second in the 200-meter run and fifth in the 100-meter run. Like in the regionals, Hamilton will also be a member of the relay teams. He said he doesn’t care if he has to compete in six or 60 races, just as long as he is out there.
“When I’m at practice, I have certain marks when I have to run really fast or slow up,” Hamilton said. “At a track meet, I just go. I never let up.”
Unlike last week, when he had unfamiliar faces around him, Hamilton will have a few friends surrounding him. In the 100-meter run he will have Red Springs’ Marshall McRae, the No. 4 seed, and in the 200-meter run, teammate Devonte Quick is the 10th seed, while the Red Devils’ JuJu Brown is seeded fifth.
“The 200 should be a real good race and close, I need to bring my A-game,” Hamilton said. “And in the 100, if I have a good enough start, I have a good chance. JuJu and I are cool. I see him all the time off the track. I know he pushes me to do my best on the track.”
In addition to McRae and Brown, Robert Overton earned a spot at the state meet. Overton will participate in the shotput and discus for the Red Devils. South Robeson will take five more individual competitors as well as its 4×400- and 4×800-meter relay teams to Greensboro.
While Hamilton needed to overcome his jitters at the regionals, Krista Davis was already eyeing today’s meet. The senior multi-sport star easily claimed the high jump title with a height of 4-10, which earned her the seventh seed.
“I stopped there because everyone else scratched out at 4-8,” Davis said. “I was saving my best for states.”
Just like when she would hit the hardwood in the basketball, Davis has already scouted her competition, knowing how they performed at their regional meet.
“A couple of the girls jumped 5-2,” Davis said. “One of the girls that was her personal best. I’ve jumped 5-4 one time. This is my first year doing this, I will be nervous, but I will hopefully get that out. It will be exciting.”
Davis also qualified in the discus and is ranked 13th.
“I’m looking at placing in both,” Davis said. “I will go and do my thing. The discus doesn’t really tire me out and in the high jump I will come in at a certain height.”
Red Springs will send Shanetta Barnes to the meet to compete in the shotput, as well as its girls 4×100-, 4×200- and 4×800-meter relay squads. Mica Thompson will participate in the 100-meter hurdles and LaDavis McMillian qualified in the 300-meter hurdles for South Robeson. The Mustangs will also take their 4×200- and 4×800-meter relay teams.
Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at (910) 272-6111 or [email protected]