Amir Brock has a complicated relationship with the 400-meter dash.

“I hate running 400s,” Brock said, “but at the same time, I love it. It’s just a feeling. It’s indescribable.”

The Egg Harbor Township High School senior also runs the 100 and 200 dashes and is one of the state’s top sprinters. He finished second in the 400 at the indoor track and field Meet of Champions in February. Brock won the South Jersey Group IV 400 title and finished fourth in the state Group IV championship in outdoor track and field last spring.

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Brock did everything he could to get out of running the 400 as a freshman.

“I really resented it,” he said of his reaction when the EHT coaches told him he was going to run that event. “I gave them a whole bunch of other kids who could run faster 400s than I could. But they put me in it anyway.”

Brock showed his mental toughness during last spring’s championship meets. He and his family stayed in a hotel during that stretch after their home was damaged by smoke from a fire that burned their neighbor’s house to the ground.

“It messed up my focus a little bit,” he said, “but going to practice helped me move on and move forward. I had bigger things to do.”

Brock, 18, is one of the Cape-Atlantic League’s top athletes. He was a Press Soccer All-Star on defense last fall. Brock started his track and field career at Fernwood Avenue Middle School in Egg Harbor Township. He will continue running at Villanova University.

Brock lives with his dad, Duane, and mom, LaKeisha. He has two brothers, Rashon, 24, and Ahmad, 13.

Egg Harbor Township will compete in the Woodbury Relays at Woodbury High School on Saturday. The Eagles should challenge defending champion Rancocas Valley for the Group IV title.

In a telephone interview Tuesday night, Brock discussed several topics, including what being a member of the EHT track and field team means to him.

On how he started running track

After soccer games, parents would come up to me and say, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re so fast.’ I was excited to get into middle school where I could run track and see where I stacked up to everybody else.

On his decision to attend Villanova

I was really trying to decide between Villanova and Rhode Island. When I took my official visit to Villanova, I ended up really liking the school and how close it was to Philadelphia. Some of my friends committed to colleges (in the Philadelphia area) that swayed me more toward Villanova.

On what he plans to study

I’m not sure what I want to do when I grow up. But when I go to Villanova, I plan on studying environmental science. Growing up I’ve always been into animals, the environment and how to make the world a better place environmentally.

On what he does to relax

I like to write. Ever since I was young I’ve been into writing poetry and stories. When I write poetry, I just like to free-write and let it flow on the page.

On what it’s like to be a member of the EHT track team

It’s so family-oriented. I could be having the worst day possible, but the second I step on the track, someone is going to make me laugh, make me smile and make me feel better.

On running for EHT track and field coach Ryan Smith

Growing up I’ve had a lot of coaches. But Smitty has been one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. He’s so personable and easy to talk to. After the fire last year, he told me if I needed a place to go I could stay at his house. I haven’t had a relationship with a coach like that.


609-272-7185 Twitter @AcpressMcGarry

I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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