Athlete of the Week: North’s Payton Russell

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, April 21, 2015

There were many fine performances turned in at the Rowan County Track and Field Championships last Tuesday.

West Rowan’s Jaylon Sanders swept the three boys sprints. Carson’s Zachary Marchinko and West Rowan’s Josie Heglar paced the distance runners. West Rowan sprinter/jumper Khaila Hall won two events and a relay, placed second in her fourth event and accounted for half of the four national-elite performances in the meet.

Still, Payton Russell, North Rowan’s  5-foot-7 sophomore sprinter, stood tallest of all. Russell separated herself as a four-event Rowan County champion. She won the 100 (12.77 seconds), 200 (25.80) and 400 (58.42) dashes and also ran a leg on the Cavaliers’ winning 4×400 relay team (4:20.69).

Russell already has accomplished a lot for a young sprinter. She placed second at 300 meters in the 1A/2A indoor state meet earlier this year.

As a freshman, she placed in the 100 (sixth), 200 (fourth) and 400 (fifth) at the 2A outdoor state meet in Greensboro.