A Dive At The Line, And A Georgia State 400m State Record

State championship races are won and lost between the margins. 

Which brings us to Buford's (GA) Ervin Pearson

The high school senior from Georgia put it all on the line over 400 meters at the GHSA Class 7A Championships in Carrollton on Saturday, diving across the finish as claimed his first individual state title in a new state record of 45.35 seconds. 

Before Saturday, Pearson's best performance over the 2024 season was 46.73 seconds, but he was more or less returning to states following his runner-up bid a year ago in 46.19. 

The state's top seed, Westlake's Sidi Njie, had run 45.49 earlier in the campaign. 

Few may have placed expectations on Pearson to win outright. 

But with a sturdy race plan, Pearson pressed from his blocks over the first 200 meters, taking the race to Njie. 

Njie was forced to respond, and that he did over the final 100 meters, passing Pearson over the last final frames. 

But then came the dive. 

Pearson's dive netted him the win, a U.S. No. 2 time, a state record and best yet: a classic state championship moment. 

Njie's meet wasn't for naught, though. He responded by winning the 200m later in the day in 20.80 seconds. 

Related Links: 

GHSA State Class 7A Championship meet page

Class 7A photo album

Class 7A race videos/interviews