Seventeen-year-old Baltimore native Dorian Claggett did his city proud as he recently won the New Balance National Emerging Elite 400-meter race on June 14 at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C. Claggett earned the national 400-meter title by finishing with a winning time of 48.48 seconds.
AFRO readers may remember Claggett, grandson of Marvin “Doc” Cheatham Sr., an election specialist for the National Labor Relations Board and 17th president of the NAACP Baltimore City Branch. Just two years ago Claggett won first-place honors in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 100-meter relay and the 400-meter relay at the Maryland district meet, a Junior Olympics qualifying meet held at Poly/Western High School.
He went on to claim the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 400-meter championship that same year as just a sophomore, and claimed the same title again in 2013 as a senior.
Now a graduate of Polytechnic Institute, Claggett enrolled in N.C. A&T where he’ll continue his track career as a college student-athlete.
“It was pretty cool winning a national championship at the school I’ll be studying at for the next four years,” Claggett said. “I had a chance to meet my next track coach and make a good impression. I’m really excited for the future.”
Claggett once told the AFRO he wanted to run in the 2016 world Olympics. He still has ambitions of competing in the those games, but is now more focused on studying sports science and fitness management at N.C. A&T. Claggett realized he wanted to become a sports trainer during his junior year at Poly after injuring his hamstring.
“I spent a lot of time with a sports trainer and he inspired me to want to join the field,” Claggett said. “I always wanted to become a professional athlete because of my passion for sports. Well, this is a way that I can stay close to the sports world while also helping people.”