Anthony Bynum is fast.
While the Hopewell senior has proven that on a national stage, Bynum is still hoping to cap his Titan career by earning a state championship in either the 100-, 200- or 400-meter dashes, proving he is the best in North Carolina.
"My goal is always to be the fastest guy at the meet, no matter where I am racing," said Bynum. "It's definitely my goal to win states this year."
To do that, the sprinter will be focused on improving his times.
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"I'm always looking at times, whether they are mine or my competitor's time," said Bynum, who finished second in the 200 and fourth in the 100 meters at state last year.
"A clock doesn't lie, and the time you run is how people judge you against others."
Bynum will also hope his performance and times impress colleges. The sprinter is considering Clemson, Mississippi State and South Carolina.
A Titan team
While Bynum is one of the state's best sprinters, he is not a one-man show for a deep and talented Hopewell outdoor track team.
Bynum is joined by middle-distance standout Brandon Dunford, long-distance star Corey Silvestri, hurdler Tyriq Jackson and sprinter Darius Neely as potential state contenders.
"We have a chance to be very good this year individually and as a team," said Hopewell track coach Michelle LaPointe. "But we will have to prove it. There are still a lot of great programs and runners in our conference, alone."
I-Meck Conference powers like Vance, West Charlotte, Lake Norman and North Mecklenburg will also challenge the Titans for the top spot.
Lake Norman has a solid group of distance runners in Michael Marshburn and Michael Rupinski as well as standout jumper Dylan Maloney.
Mooresville basketball standouts Isaiah and Kendrick Johnson will likely make a big impact in the high and long jumps.
East Lincoln's boys' track and field team will look for their sixth consecutive Southern Piedmont Conference and Lincoln County titles this year under coach Lonnie Custer. The Mustangs will be able to hold a home meet for the first time in more than a decade on their newly renovated track.
Custer and company, who have also won the last two 2A West Regional championships, will be led by distance stars Dylan Belles and Braether Cline.
On the girls' side, North Meck will be a different team after first-year Hough put a dent in their program. The Vikings will be led by junior sprinter Trikeria Johnson.
Lake Norman senior Jenny Gallagher, who won the 2009 3A Cross Country state title, will be a major factor for the Wildcat's track team.
Gallagher, who holds most of the school's distance records, looks to improve in the 1600-meter run, which she finished third in the 4A West Regional and 11th at the state meet last year.
Gallagher, who has signed with Elon, is equally as talented in the classroom, where she holds a 4.36 grade-point average.
Gallagher will be joined by a talented group of runners that includes Sabrina Heck, Rebecca Roman, who singed with UNC Pembroke, and Taylor Sweet. That talent should make Lake Norman a factor in the I-Meck and the state.