They call him Flash. 

Ervin Pearson has cemented himself as a world-class athlete. He prepared to face another in Westlake’s Sidi Njie during the 400-meter race. Buford head coach Fyrone Davis put it simply to Pearson before the meet: “Give everything you can to be on top. You can do it.”

Pearson and Njie raced to a photo finish on May 9 in the GHSA 7A track and field state championships. Pearson recorded a time of 45.35 seconds. Njie finished two milliseconds behind at 45.37 seconds. 

Pearson set a record for the fastest time in Georgia high school history. 

“It was surreal,” Pearson told The North Gwinnett Voice. “As competitors, we know what it takes to win. The ending of that race was two athletes battling it out.”

Along with Pearson, freshman Olivia Harris also won a state title in the same race. She recorded a time of 53.69 seconds to beat out Discovery’s Lailah Green. 

Harris and Pearson each received invites to the Nike Outdoor Nationals preliminary 400-meter races May 31. If they qualify, the finals will be held June 12 on the University of Oregon campus.

As a team, Buford girls’ track and field finished third. The boys’ team finished 10th overall. 

We have kids in our program who are willing to commit and be great at what they do,” Davis said. “That’s all due to a lot of coaching and connecting with our student-athletes through our program. Hopefully, we can continue that success as we move forward.”

Harris set a personal best the week prior in the regionals, and set the best time in Gwinnett County history. Harris comes from a lineage of sisters who were Buford stars, along with Kimberly and Sydney Harris. Davis said he only knows of six-to-seven runners in girls’ state history who have posted times around 53 seconds in the 400-meter race. Each of the Harris sisters have done so.

For Pearson, he is committed to the University of Georgia to join the Bulldogs’ prestigious program. He has proven himself as a Georgia high school track legend with his latest performance, and finished his Buford career with the boldest of finishes. 

Pearson, who takes pride in going by “Flash,” had a state title run he will never forget. His name lives on, and so does his performance that is forever etched in lore. 

“It meant everything to me to be able to put on for my family, friends, school, community and state before I ride out,” Pearson said. “Sidi is an amazing athlete and I look forward to competing against him in the future. It was a thrill.”

FEATURED PHOTO: Courtesy of Jamesy Codrington (@hilightssportsmedia on Instagram)

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