In first foray on North Carolina high school track’s biggest stage, Pedemonte proves productive
by Aaron Garcia
Weddington High School runner Michael Pedemonte has no problem admitting that he was nervous as he entered Fayetteville’s Daskal Stadium for the 2011 Class 1A/2A/3A indoor state track and field meet in February. After all, not only was it the senior’s first trip to a state championship meet, it was his first season participating in track and field after suiting up for Weddington’s boys soccer team for the past four years.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Pedemonte said before stopping to correct himself.
“Well, I knew what I was doing,” he said, “but this was the first big meet I ever went to, so I was sort of psyched out and I wasn’t as prepared as I could be because I really didn’t know what I was doing.
“That was the first meet I’ve actually seen 20 schools even together. Usually, it’s like 10 (schools at a meet). When I first got there, I was sort of scared.”
Eventually the butterflies settled and Pedemonte made himself at home, placing second in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1 minute, 7.6 seconds, just .54 seconds out of the lead. His performance at the most important track meet of the year earned Pedemonte the title of Union County Weekly’s 2010-11 Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Pedemonte said that while he began the race with confidence, some of the other competitors blew past him early on, but his long stride allowed him to catch up by the end. And it if it weren’t for a stumble in the last 100 meters, the outcome could’ve been much different.
Given his relative inexperience, Pedemonte was still pleased with the result.
“I was pretty (happy), I’m not going to lie,” said Pedemonte, who already has scholarship offers from the Charlotte 49ers and High Point University and also is receiving interest from Appalachian State.
“(My second-place finish) was something I didn’t think was going to happen when I started running in November.
“I really can’t complain.”