Charisma Bosley, center, finished in 18th place in the 100 at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions on June 8 in Bayville. (Photo by John Blaine.)

When Charisma Bosley decided to start running with the Ewing High School girls track-and-field team during her sophomore year a season ago, she had no dreams of greatness. She simply wanted to be with her friends.

After advancing to this year’s state Group III championships in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the long jump, and then to the Meet of Champions in the 100, she is starting to dream.

“Last year I didn’t have the confidence that I could make it, or that I was actually good,” she said. “But once I started doing good and making it farther than I thought I would, that started to build my confidence.”

Bosley might have been uncertain about her future, but Ewing coach Meg Soltysik was a believer.

“It was always pretty obvious she was going to be fast, we just weren’t sure how fast,” Soltysik said. “When she came out her sophomore year, she was pretty quiet, soft-spoken, and would just do the work. But you could see the talent starting to shape and come together.

Soltysik said that this year Bosely ran winter track and did well there, and did eben better this season. “In the beginning of spring track she just kind of exploded. She worked really hard. So we were excited to see it come together for her at states and the Meet of Champions.”

Bosley’s success began at this year’s Mercer County championships, where she finished third in the long jump — an event she only picked up earlier in the season — fourth in the 100 and seventh in the 200.

At the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III championships, Bosley finished third in the 100, fourth in the long jump, and fifth in the 200. At the Group III finals, she finished fourth in the 100, ninth in the 200, and 19th in the long jump.

Bosley advanced to the Meet of Champions in the 100, where she finished 18th in the preliminaries, failing to reach to the final by only .22 seconds.

“She picked up the long jump about halfway through the season, so we were really happy with the results there,” Soltysik said. “We’re looking forward to seeing what she can do next year. Hopefully we’re going to extend her more to the 400 as well and try to get some really fast times there.”

The coach added with a laugh, “She’s interested in it, but the 100 is probably her favorite.”

Bosley wasn’t the only Ewing girl to have success at the year-end meets. At sectionals, Chibuzo Amonu finished second in both the discus and shot put. At groups, Amonu finished fifth in the shot put and seventh in the discus to advance to the Meet of Champions. There, Amonu was 11th in the shot put, missing a Top 10 finish by less than five inches.

In addition to participating in track at Ewing, Bosley is a cheerleader.

“Cheerleading is a hobby; it’s fun,” she said. “Track, I’m serious about the sport. I really work at the sport.”

Still, those around her say Bosley has the ability to pick up her teammates with her cheerful personality.

“She is a cheerleader and it’s reflective of her attitude on the team,” Soltysik said. “She’s really spunky, really charismatic, and she really motivates a lot of the other girls on the team.”

Bosley is attracting interest from several colleges and plans to work throughout the summer on improving her performances. And while she enjoys the competition, she has embraced running in other ways as well.

“I love the energy of it,” Bosley said. “It makes you feel free, too. If I’m going through something I can just take it on the track and just run and I feel much better. I just like it so much. It’s part of me now.

“I know I can be better than what I am now if I keep trying. I want to get Top 10 at the Meet of Champions. I’m going to be working a lot on track this summer.”

Soltysik believes that as Bosley’s results continue to improve she will grow even more confident in her abilities.

“I still don’t think she realizes how good she can be and how good she is,” Soltysik said. “She can be up there with the bigger girls. She’s surprised to see her name with them right now, but I think she understands that’s going to be her place.”

A place beyond simply hanging out with friends; a place where dreams come true.