As this year's Columbia County Track and Field Championships approached, it was difficult to say who was the county's fastest runner.
It's not so hard anymore.
Evans senior runner Junior Coley earned the title of the county's quickest runner with first-place finishes in both the boys 100-meter and 200-meter events.
Evans first-year track and field coach Jason Stewart said Coley's 100-meter time of 10.66 seconds is one of his best times of the season.
Evander Wells, the 2005 Class AAAA 100-meter state champion from Stone Mountain, won the state title last year with a time of 10.70.
"That's what I'm going for - a state championship," Coley said. "I wanted it last year, but I got hurt."
Coley injured his groin just before the region meet last season. He still took third place in the boys 100-meter event, but the expectations are elevated this year.
Now fully healthy, the senior just might fulfill his goal of a state title. Stewart said Coley has the natural ability and proper technique to excel at the state meet.
He also has the right DNA. His father, Echols Miller, was a star track athlete at Butler High School, where he finished in the top 3 in the state in the boys 800-meter event.
There's one more element to Coley's success. He has plenty of confidence.
"Junior's an excellent athlete and a legend in his own mind. I'm sure this will be great for that big head of his," Stewart said with a smile during the Columbia County Track and Field Championships.
That big head might not be all bad.
"You really do need to bring some attitude to these type of events," Stewart said. "You still have to have great sportsmanship, but you need that will to win."
Coley has both. He answers to the nickname "Stuntman" and carries a confident, if not cocky, attitude onto the track. He's been able to back it up at nearly every track meet this season.
"He has very good form, and if you watch him run you can see his speed is in the latter half of a race," Stewart said. "He'll get behind, then come back and beat you."
Coley, who was the starting tailback on Evans' football team last fall, will race for a region title April 28 at the Region 3-AAAA boys track meet.
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