People who remember Beaufort High School’s Michael Dickson winning the state championship for 110-meter hurdles in 2014 and 2015 have an opportunity to see him in action again Tuesday — but this time, he’ll be a little farther away than Hopkins, S.C.
Instead, he’ll be competing in Minsk, Belarus, as a representative of Team USA, squaring off against Team Europe in a two-day track meet simply called The Match.
He’ll join 138 other American athletes there, among them 28 Olympians, eight Olympic medalists and 11 world championship medalists.
Dickson’s event, the 110-meter hurdles, will take place at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday. The Match is being broadcast on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.
Dickson’s father, Charles Dickson, said his son has had a laser-like focus on the 110-meter hurdles for years, since joining the track team in seventh grade at Lady’s Island Middle School.
“He spent endless hours studying that event,” he said. “It’s kind of unbelievable he’s made it this far.”
Under Beaufort High School coach Reggie Jones, Dickson set personal bests in the 200-meter and 110-meter hurdles events at the 2015 Annual Taco Bell Track & Field Classic, winning the 3A state championship in both events to finish his high school career.
Dickson carried his high school success to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where he was part of the indoor and outdoor track teams that won back-to-back Mid-Eastern Atlantic conference championships.
He placed sixth in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championship for the 110-meter hurdles event in June, with a time of 13.71 seconds.
Now, his father says, he’s taking a shot at a professional track career in the IAAF Diamond League, an annual series of elite track and field athletic competitions. Dickson has signed with an agent, and if he places in the top eight for Diamond League Events, he’ll receive prize money.
“The entire family has supported him. It’s a prestigious position to be in,” Charles Dickson said. “We’ve got a lot of support from the community.”