Monroe senior finishes career how he wanted: on top
by Aaron Garcia
This season, Monroe track and field star Brandon Little finally saw a state championship meet from the vantage point for which he’d been searching: the top of the winner’s podium.
In May, Little won the Class 1A title in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.91 seconds, giving Union County its lone individual state championship for the spring season. That was just the beginning of an impressive day for the senior, who also anchored a pair of winning Redhawk relay teams – the 4×200 team won gold in 1 minute, 28.65 seconds, and the 4×400 squad took top honors in 3:26.05. Little’s effort not only pushed the Redhawks to a third-place team finish at the meet, it also solidified him as Union County Weekly’s 2012 Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Little, also a running back for the Redhawks’ football team, said he was motivated by his waning chances of earning his first state championship ring, and he turned to a higher power for some assistance.
“I had to put God first,” said Little. “I prayed and prayed over and over again, ‘I want my state championship ring.’
“Me and (Monroe boys track) coach (Johnny) Sowell talked about it almost every day. That was my goal for this year.”
Little entered the 100 finals with the second-best time after the preliminary rounds, edged only by West Montgomery’s Jaquil Capel, who also defeated Little during the regional meet. Little, however, said he was confident headed into the state meet.
“I knew I was going to beat him,” Little said of Capel. “I had my mind set that I wanted that state championship ring.”
Little, who on June 4 signed a National Letter of Intent to join the University of North Carolina at Pembroke track team, added that his role on the Redhawks’ relay teams also holds significant personal value.
“For me to be that anchor leg, (Sowell) put a lot of confidence in me,” Little said. “I wanted to make sure he did the right thing.”
Which, said Little, made his view from the top of the podium even sweeter.
“I just wanted to make my coaches and my family happy,” said Little. “That’s pretty much all I worked hard for.
“I’d been saying I was going to get this state championship ring (all throughout high school), and I never did. This year, I actually did it. I got it done.”