Big Hill to climb for Hubbard sprinter

CORTLAND – George Hill vividly remembers Dakari Carter. The Streetsboro junior has plenty of speed to burn in the Division II 100-meter dash as the defending state champion.

Carter came close to breaking the state meet record of 10.63 set by LaBrae graduate Bobby Cruse in 1996.

Carter’s 10.66 is something that caught the eye of Hill, who will attend the University of Pittsburgh next year on football scholarship.

Hill will play some cornerback and safety for Ursuline graduate and Youngstown native Pat Narduzzi at Pittsburgh. The 6-foot, 205-pound athlete could play running back and slot for the Panthers as well.

For now, he wants to prove he can catch Carter, a 5-9, 160-pound cornerback/wide receiver in a 100-meter sprint.

Hill clocked 10.86 to win the 100-meter dash at last Thursday’s Trumbull County Meet.

His personal best is a 10.75, taking second to Carter at last year’s Division II Austintown Regional Meet.

“I was like three meters behind him,” Hill said. “Definitely trying to get him. I’ve been practicing hard, working hard. Just have to find out how much my hard work paid off.”

Brookfield’s Xavier Bailey, a formidable opponent in Division III this season, was right behind Hill at 11.02.

“He’s real fast,” Hill said. “I knew there was going to be some competition today. I had to pick it up a little bit.”

Thursday’s race gives Hill a gauge of where he’s running this season.

His goal is to get higher than sixth place in 100 like he did last year. Hill ran 10.82 in the state semifinals and 10.93 in the final.

No matter how he finishes this season or if he catches Carter, the Pittsburgh football coaches have taken notice of Hill’s speed on the track.

“Every time I run down the track with times like that, they get real excited because I’m 205 and I’m running that kind of times,” he said. “It’s crazy.”