NCHSAA Champs Retro: Cameron Rose's Incredible Comebacks

Photo Credit: Tyler James Dunston; IG: @dunston_photos 

Video: Rose in the NCHSAA Class 4A 200m final

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If one thing was true before the NCHSAA Class 4A State Track and Field Championships in 2019, it was that Cameron Rose had seen just about everything. 

The Hickory Ridge (NC) High School junior, who was 17 at the time, had been competing in track and field since 2015 -- when he was in the sixth grade. 

He had been in over 100 races. 

And he had even won a state championship as a sophomore in the 200m. 

But while he was certainly in contention for another title last year, by no means was he guaranteed anything. And in fact, the prior season Rose had come up short at the indoor state championships, finishing seventh and 10th in the 55m and 200m, respectively.

His main competition, Rolesville sophomore Michael Gupton, was considered a strong challenger. Maybe he was even considered the favorite. 

So Rose was motivated. 

In the 200m (above), Rose exploded out of the blocks hard, but found himself trailing almost immediately. By the 100m turn, you could make the argument he was in fourth place. 

But then something clicked. 

With 60 meters left, Rose's turnover seemed like it was getting faster.

Meanwhile, the rest of the field was faltering. 

At 50 meters, he was covering the gap. 

At 40 meters, he was nearly pulling even with Gupton. 

It wasn't until the final 20 meters when he actually passed his final competitor. 

Then he crossed the line in 21.37 seconds. 

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Boys Class 4A 200m Results

1	Cameron Rose	11	Hickory Ridge	21.37	-0.9	2
2	Michael Gupton	9	Rolesville High School	21.43	-0.9	2
3	Royal Burris	12	Harding University	21.63	-0.9	2
4	Romell McRae	11	Southeast Raleigh	21.84	-0.9	2
5	Jadarien Parker	10	Hoke County	22.06	-2.5	1
6	Preston Coker	12	Richmond Senior	22.09	-0.9	2
7	Jaylen Chappelle	12	Berry, Phillip O.	22.22	-2.5	1
8	Xavier Smith	9	Jordan	22.28	-2.5	1

The 100m was just as thrilling. 

Gupton took the lead out of the blocks. 

Crazy enough as it sounds, Rose may have been in sixth after 30 meters. 

By the 50 meter mark, you could make the argument that it wasn't Rose's day -- he fell behind too early and wasn't making ground up. 

Another athlete might not have the ability to make up that difference. 

But then you wouldn't know Rose. 

What he did next over the ensuing 50 meters was absolutely remarkable. 

That next 30 meters saw Rose cover the entire field in one fell swoop. 

Like the snap of a finger, it was Rose who claimed victory at the line in 10.58 seconds. 

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Boys Class 4A 100m Final

1	Cameron Rose	11	Hickory Ridge	10.58	-0.7	1
2	Michael Gupton	9	Rolesville High School	10.59	-0.7	1
3	Daniel Moyer Jr	11	Reagan	10.62	-0.7	1
4	Khafre Brown	12	West Mecklenburg	10.67	-0.7	1
5	Reggie Barlow	12	Wakefield	10.83	-0.7	1
6	Royal Burris	12	Harding University	10.85	-0.7	1
7	Keshaun Black	11	Mooresville	10.87	-0.7	1
8	Evan Pryor	10	Hough, William A	10.98	-0.7	1

Retrospective: Rose went on to finish third in the 100m and fourth in the 200m at New Balance Nationals Outdoor, securing times of 10.39 and 21.01, respectively. And so maybe it's no surprise what happened a year later ... in 2020. Rose absolutely broke through, entering the ranks of the sprinting elite with legendary performances in the 200m and 300m. He tied the second-fastest indoor 300m effort of all-time, beating Justin Robinson in a performance for the ages at The VA Showcase in 32.84 seconds. He added a 200m best of 20.94 seconds. Both efforts led the country in 2020. And over the National Letter of Intent period, Rose didn't choose a typical sprint powerhouse, instead sticking closer to home with his decision to sign with Virginia Tech.