Many track athletes like the adrenaline rush of a neck-and-neck race with an opponent.
Not Dedrick Harris.
He’d take an easy win every day of the week.
It may not have been the scenario Queen Creek’s elite hurdler preferred, but Harris showed on Saturday night he can get the job done in close races, too.
Harris beat Sahuaro’s Cole Sterns by two-hundredths of a second to win the 110-meter high hurdles and defeated Salpointe’s David Baxter of Salpointe Catholic by .14 seconds to claim the 300-meter hurdles title. Harris’ two state championships led the Bulldogs to a second-place tie with 42 points in the Division II boys state track and field championships at Mesa Community College.
“I enjoy being ahead,” Harris said. “I came around the corner (in the 300) and I thought maybe they were cheering because I was so far ahead, but they were cheering because we were so close. I could feel him at the last three hurdles. If he hit them right and I hit them wrong, he’d be ahead. It worked out how I wanted it to.”
Arcadia finished in fourth place in the team standings with 37 points. The Titans’ Stephon Wells won the triple-jump with a distance of 46 feet, 1.25 inches.
Cactus Shadows’ Ethan Homan captured the 800-meter run with a time of 1:53.96, while Campo Verde’s Lucky Schreiner came in second place in the 1,600-meter run.
Division II girls
Tempe finished in second place on the girls side with 43 points, which trailed only state champion Salpointe (88 points).
The Buffaloes were led by junior Kayla Melgar, who won the discus with a throw of 134 feet, 4 inches. Teammate Diana Garcia came in second in the 3,200.
Marcos de Niza’s Savannah Whitehead won the pole vault by clearing 12 feet. Paradise Valley’s Taylor Yantis finished second in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Arcadia’s Sofia DeWulf was second in the 1,600 meter run.