One thing is certain about Quran George’s track career at Bryan County — he won’t be setting a new school record in the 110-meter hurdles again. But that’s only because he’s a senior.
George, who earlier in the season lowered the school record from 15.52 seconds to 15.25, dropped the mark twice at the boys’ state track and field meet over the weekend, eventually capturing the AA crown with a time of 14.87.
“I still can’t believe I won,” he said Sunday afternoon. “Everyone else in the finals was so good.”
George not only set the new school record, his 15.06 in the qualifying heats, which was the fastest turned in, was better than the second place finisher’s 15.10 in the finals.
“I knew by about the fifth hurdle (out of 10) that I was going to win,” George said. “I felt really comfortable, but I knew I had to stay focused and keep my momentum up.”
George’s coach, Blake NeSmith, thought he handled it perfectly.
“We knew after the region meet that he had the fastest time in the state at that point,” NeSmith said. “A lot of kids would’ve struggled with that kind of pressure, but he handled it admirably.”
NeSmith said George has had a “quiet confidence” about him in the hurdles all season.
“I like the rush you get while you run,” George said of his favorite event.
And for good measure, George took All-State honors by finishing eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 43-feet 7-inches. Aside from playing football and basketball for the Redskins, he’s also pole vaulted and ran the 4x100 and 4x400 relays in track.
There’s no telling how much faster George can run the 110 hurdles though, seeing as how he’s only been doing the event since his sophomore season.
“I definitely want to run in college,” he said. “The fact I can do multiple events should help.”
“He will run in college,” he said. “He's got one offer right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if some other schools start calling after his performance this weekend.”
For Richmond Hill, Demond Fleming and Asael Hernandez-Loredo brought home All-State honors, with Fleming finishing sixth in the 400 (50.20) and Hernandez-Loredo eighth in the discus (138-foot 10-inches).
Wildcat Coach Levy Sybert said all of his athletes who qualified for the state meet were first-time performers.
“I know all of them had their hearts in the competition,” he said. “Unfortunately, historically it takes a little experience to rise to the top level when you’re at the top level.”
Sybert was especially pleased with sophomore Rakeem Little’s performance in the 3,200. Despite finishing 15th overall, his time of 9:58 set a new school record and dropped his personal best by six seconds.
“On paper, he had the biggest potential to backslide due to the magnitude of growth he had at sectionals just to make it out of that round,” Sybert said. “But Rakeem set that in the past and moved forward with a goal of running under 10 minutes and that’s what he executed. It was exciting to see that feat unfold and I know that what he will accomplish in the seasons to come will be nothing short of phenomenal.”