Bullock seventh in state shot put finals; Northern falters in relay
Southern Vance thrower Jaquez Bullock was told by Western Harnett’s Mateius Brown before Saturday’s state meet that he had given up football to focus solely on shot put and discus.
Bullock knew then it would be a challenge to top the shot put field at the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A state track and field championships at N.C. A&T.
Brown appeared to be the favorite throughout the competition, but he didn’t come out on top either. Brown and Colin Minor of South Brunswick staged a fierce battle that saw Minor come out on top after an inspired final throw of 55-feet, 5 inches. Brown was about three feet short.
Bullock finished seventh after making the finals cut. His best throw was his fourth, a toss of 47 feet, 2.5 inches, one of his best of the season.
“After he told me that, I knew it was going to be tough to beat him,” Bullock said of Brown. “He pretty much devotes his life to this stuff.”
Bullock devotes his life to football. The 6-foot-8, 320-pound junior has received interest from schools including North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, LSU and East Carolina.
Bullock has seen a lot of time on the defensive line in his Raider career, but will turn his focus to the offensive side of the ball this summer.
“Those guys devote their lives to throwing,” said Southern coach Dave Jennings. “That’s what they love. Jaquez devotes his life to football right now. It’s one of those things. You have your priorities. But I’m proud of Jaquez. I really enjoyed watching him throw today.”
Bullock finished ninth in the state a season ago with a throw of 48 feet, 9.5 inches.
Even with football as his focus, Jennings knows he’ll see improvement from Bullock next season on his throws.
“He’s got a little work to do to get to the next level,” said the Raider coach. “But Jaquez is going to do that.”
How much better can Bullock get?
“It all depends on what kind of goals he sets for next year,” said Jennings. “But to be in that upper echelon — top-three should be the goal — and that’s what we’re going to set for next year.”
Defending champion Myquon Stout of China Grove Jesse Carson took third with a throw of 50 feet, 10 inches.
Northern Vance’s Montel Clark did not make the final round after his best toss of 41 feet, 8 inches.
Heartbreaker for Northern’s relay team
After two legs of the 800-meter boys relay, Northern Vance looked like it just might take a state championship back to Henderson.
Devin Anderson bolted out in front of the pack after taking the baton from Tyrrick Bullock. Anderson surged forward for a comfortable lead as he hit the turn for the third leg.
Then it all came unglued for the Vikings.
Jaleel Seward couldn’t handle the exchange from Anderson as the baton clanked on the blue Aggie Stadium surface, skidding away from the track and into the infield grass.
Just like that, Northern’s dream of a state title was over before Vincent Ragland got a chance to run the anchor leg down the home stretch.
South Central claimed the title with a time of 1:27.26 followed by Northeast Guilford with 1:28.04 and Waxhaw Marvin Ridge at 1:28.11.
Future is bright for Warrior quartet
J.F. Webb coach Kyle Blackwell is settling for nothing less than a 2014 state title from his 400-meter girls relay team.
The Warriors finished eighth Saturday, but the team has only one upperclassman, Shontiara Williams.
Williams, along with sophomore Cora Puryear and freshmen Precious Battle and Raineisha Taylor, topped their season-best time by a full second with a mark of 50.93.
Berry Academy of Charlotte won the race with a time of 48.68 followed by Gastonia Forestview’s 49.13.
“Not everybody can say that made it to states and ran in the state track meet,” said Blackwell. “I’m pretty pleased at the effort we gave this whole season to train just to get as far as we did.”
“The sky is the limit right now,” added Blackwell. “We have no choice but to get better. We’re going to win four by one in the states next year regardless. That should be their main goal.”
Logan as advertised in sprinting events
Northern Guilford’s T.J. Logan entered the 3-A state meet as the state athletic association Male Athlete of the Year. The North Carolina football recruit left earning Most Valuable Performer honors.
Logan took the 100 in 10.65 seconds, won the 200 in 21.61, and was the anchor in the championship-winning 400-meter relay team as the Knighthawk boys took the overall team title with 57 points. Northeast Guilford was second with 45.50 points.
Northern Vance’s Tyrrick Bullock went up against Logan in the preliminary round of the 100. Bullock didn’t make the finals cut, finishing in 11.58 seconds. The last final qualifier had a mark of 11.01.
Berry Academy won the girls team title with 51 points. West Carteret was second with 46 points.
West Carteret’s Blake Dodge, a distance runner, was named the girls Most Valuable Performer.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.