Just three-hundredths of a second separated Queen Creek’s Dedrick Harris and Tucson Salpointe’s David Baxter going into Saturday’s state final in the 300-meter hurdles.
And as the pair approached the home stretch, neck-and-neck, the crowd at Mesa Community College rose to its feet and erupted in applause.
“When we came around the corner, I thought maybe they’re cheering because I’m so far ahead,” Harris said. “But they were cheering because we were so close.”
Harris edged out Baxter at the line, winning with a time of 39 seconds to claim the state title. Baxter was second with 39:14 seconds.
“I just knew if I went down the straight-away and hit (the hurdles) wrong, and he hit them right, he’d probably win,” Harris said.
Harris also won the 100 hurdles Saturday, turning in a time of 14:93 seconds. He collected 20 points for Queen Creek Saturday and helped his team to a second-place finish.
Glendale Raymond S. Kellis won the team title with 47 points. Peoria Liberty tied with Queen Creek for the runner-up spot.
Raymond S. Kellis was led by sprinter Deon Parks, who won the 200 in 22.07 seconds and came in fourth in the 100. Raymond S. Kellis also won the 400 relay in 41.9 seconds.
Buckeye Verrado’s Jelani Brice-Moore dominated in the sprints Saturday, winning the 100 in 10.99 seconds and the 400 in 48.51 seconds.
Brice-Moore edged out Tucson Pueblo’s Denzel Woods by .31 seconds in the 400. He said he is motivated by close races.
“I felt like it was going to be a good day because I’ve got good competition in my races. So I was ready for it,” Brice-Moore said.
Tucson Canyon del Oro’s Andrew Garcia won the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 23.17 seconds.
Phoenix Sunnyslope’s Matthew Garcia took first in the shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 2.75 inches.