HUNTERSVILLE – The Hopewell High 4 x 400 boys’ relay team is heading to the New Balance National Outdoor meet on June 15 after setting a school record in the Queen City Relays in March at Myers Park.
The team clocked a time of three minutes, 19.97 seconds, besting the New Balance qualifying mark of 3:21.
The team consists of junior Nick Lawson, senior Jairrin Dickens, junior Micah Grier and Hopewell’s
Senior Male Athlete of the Year Logan Chester, under the leadership of coach Michelle La Pointe.
They came together at the beginning of the season and have been getting faster.
"It really comes down to our teamwork,” Grier said.
La Pointe said the team did well in all of its conference meets and tournaments. They took a small break after the 4A state championship in May and have been practicing since to prepare for the national meet.
The 4 x 400 relay consists of four 400-yard segments. Each runner has 20 meters to hand off the baton at the end of his segment.
The team runs the segments in the order of Dickens first, Lawson second, Chester third and Grier fourth. If the team falls behind, Grier is the teammate to catch back up.
But the players don’t often find themselves in that position. They don’t feel as much pressure on the track either, because they are comfortable with their team.
Chester, is a multi-sport athlete. He is part of the football, track and swim teams.
He recently received the Titan Award, given to the player with leadership, dedication, work ethic and spirit for the his overall duty on the team.
He also has good character. He gets along with other players and coaches in all his sports.
He carries a 4.0 grade point average and is planning to continue his education at Western Carolina University.
Fellow senior Dickens will attend Florida Institute of Technology to continue his education.
The team will head to N.C. A&T University on June 15 to compete in the New Balance meet. The seniors will return for graduation at Hopewell on June 16.