Originally Published: July 6, 2018 11:11 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY — Bradshaw Mountain incoming senior sprinter/hurdler Charles Nnantah will run in the open 400m, the 400m hurdles and the 110m hurdles today and Sunday, July 7-8, at USA Track & Field’s (USATF) Region 10 Junior Olympic Championships in Aurora, Colorado.
Nnantah, who placed fourth for the Bears’ varsity team in the 300m hurdles in 39.56 seconds at the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s (AIA) Division II state meet May 19-20 in Mesa, races in the offseason for the Phoenix Bobcats USATF youth club team under coach Erwin Jones.
“He’s been coaching for them the past 30-plus years,” Nnantah said of Jones’ tenure with the Bobcats, a program designed for athletes ages 8-18. “We probably have almost 100 kids on our team. It [USATF] is a great organization, and being with the Bobcats is a great club that I’m proud to have been a part of for the past three years.
“Each year, I’ve gotten better with each of my events, and I will continue to work hard and see where it takes me each and every year.”
On June 16-17 at the USATF Junior Olympic State Championships in Mesa, Nnantah qualified for regionals by placing in three events. In the 110m hurdles, he finished fourth with a personal-record time of 15.88 seconds. In the 400m hurdles, Nnantah also nabbed fourth, recording a time of 57.75 seconds. In the open 400m, he snared third place in 52.30 seconds.
“It feels great to be able to do [this],” Nnantah said. “One of my goals this year was to make regionals. I don’t just want to make regionals to get notoriety. I want to do well and put up a good showing, and represent Bradshaw well, represent the Bobcats well, represent myself well, and represent my family well.”
Bradshaw Mountain track and field coach Jason Shaver said he’s thrilled for Nnantah.
“I’m super proud of Charles, and I can’t wait to see all of his hard work pay off,” Shaver added. “He is a very bright and intelligent young man with an incredible desire to be the best at whatever he does.”
This weekend at regionals, Nnantah is entered in the 17- and 18-year-old age division. This year, prior to the summer, he ran for the Bobcats at three meets during the indoor season in January before taking a break for the high school season in the spring.
“I started back up in June once the Junior Olympics started,” Nnantah said. “Hopefully if I get Top 5 at regionals [and earn medals] in all of my events, I’ll have one more meet left in the Junior Olympics [at the national championships], from July 23-29 in [Greensboro] North Carolina. And then, after that will be the end of my Bobcats season.”
Once the summer ends, Nnantah said he’ll take a month to a month and a half off to prepare for school in August. In early to mid-September, Nnantah will return to training for the 2019 track season at Bradshaw Mountain.
“I definitely want to run track in college, for sure,” Nnantah added.
Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.