by Chris Hunt
Hopewell boys track star Anthony Bynum has won countless races at the high school level. Entering the 2011 outdoor season, however, the Titan sprinter had one more race left to check off his win list – the Class 4A state championship.
On May 14, Bynum won his first N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A title with a blistering performance of 21.33 seconds in the 200-meter dash, held at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro. His time in the state meet was .01 seconds faster than his personal best entering the 2011 campaign.
Bynum, who inked a National Letter of Intent to run at Mississippi State next fall, became the third Titan to win a state championship in track (the others were Alphonso Jordan in the long jump and Eric Fraisure in the discus), but the first Hopewell runner to claim such an honor. Bynum also came in second in the 100 (10.82), behind Raleigh Millbrook’s Keith Marshall (10.68).
“Anthony told me three years ago that he wanted to be the 200 state champion and he has worked hard to achieve that goal,” said Hopewell track coach Michelle LaPointe. “I have had few athletes who have dedicated themselves to track as Anthony has and I am extremely glad that he won.”
But Bynum wasn’t the only Titan to shine at states. Hopewell’s boys collected 38 points to finish second in team competition at the 4A championships, the highest finish in the program’s history. Only Knightdale High School finished with more points, earning the state title with 66. Wakefield, Millbrook, Durham Riverside completed the top five, a head-scratching outcome considering defending state champion Vance – which won the regional title ahead of second-place Hopewell on May 7 – finished in sixth place.
Hopewell’s Brandon Dunford came in second in the 800 run, finishing in 1 minute, 54.68 seconds. Northwest Guilford’s Carl Walton was just .08 of a second ahead of Dunford. Dunford’s teammate Tyriq Jackson finished third in the 110 hurdles with an effort of 14.56, while the 4x100 relay of Jackson, Tyjuan Hill, Darius Neely and Mark Hunt grabbed the bronze.
Hopewell’s Cheyenne Hutchinson finished sixth in the girls 100 hurdles with a time of 14.78. She also turned in a seventh-place effort in the long jump, clearing 18 feet, 0.5 inches.