It was no secret Mitchell High School senior Brody Smith wanted to win the state championship in the 400-meter dash this season, a feat he also accomplished as a junior.
He did just that.
Smith ran a personal best 48.98 Sunday, May 20, at the 1A Track and Field State Championships in Greensboro to claim his second-straight title in the event.
“He’s one heck of a competitor,” said Brock Duncan, who helped coach the track team this season. “Even if he isn’t faster than the guy ahead of him, he just refuses to lose. I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone who is more of a competitor than Brody.”
Smith won the title as a junior with a time of 50.20. He said prior to track season he planned to do a lot of speed work and that defending his title was motivation.
Smith started the race in lane three and was trailing Mount Airy’s Austin Tumbarello going into the final turn. Smith pulled even with Tumbarello early into the final straight-stretch before pulling ahead for good. Tumbarello finished with a time of 49.54 and Lejeune’s Mahlik Francis was third with a time of 50.59.
Smith also finished fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.84.
Mitchell senior Eden Phillips placed fifth in the girls’ 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.21. Phillips qualified for the event as a junior as well and finished in second place.
Mitchell’s other individual competitor at the state championships was sophomore Tyler McKinney in the boys’ high jump. McKinney finished tied for 11th place with a jump of 5-08.00
Mitchell’s boys’ and girls’ 4x200 and 4x400-meter relay teams also competed at state. The girls’ 4x200-meter team of sophomore Hannah McMahan, freshman Paige Johnson, senior Emma Duncan and Phillips came in sixth in a field of 15 teams with a time of 1:52.56. The girls’ 4x400-meter relay team also finished in sixth with a time of 4:19.16.
The boys’ 4x200-meter relay team of Smith, senior Jesse Pitman, and juniors Ethan LaPlante and Landon Miller finished in 13th place with a time of 1:36.19.