BY MICHAEL HELD
GREENSBORO—Princeton’s Shamonda Bell qualified for the state track and field championships her first three years but had nothing more than fourth place finishes to show for those trips.
But Bell wasn’t going to settle for anything less this time around.
In her final attempt to win a state title, Bell outpaced the competition in the 100-meter hurdles and finished in just 15.43 seconds at NC A&T University’s Irwin Belk Track on May 20 in the NCHSAA 1A state track and field championships.
“Shamonda had a great day and was finally able to accomplish the one thing she has (been) wanting for four years, and that is to win a state championship in track,” said proud Princeton coach Mark McLamb.
Bell broke her own school record in the race and clipped Ja’Ciya Guthrie from Bessemer City High School who finished in 15.70 seconds. Bell became the third girl in the program’s history to win a state title in track and field joining Jania Bogle and Summer Graham.
Bell finished second in the 300 hurdles, also setting a new school record, and added a bronze medal to her collection in the 100-meter dash.
Bell knows not many athletes experience a state championship. Although she credits improvement in her technique and going from five steps to three steps between hurdles, she feels her mental approach is what carried her to the line first.
“I came there wanting a ring so I wasn’t going to leave without one so I really pushed myself,” said Bell. “It means a lot because I honestly never thought I could be this good but I pushed myself more and more every year to do better.”
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