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Prep track: Marchinko races to 2nd in 3,200

GREENSBORO — Distance aficionado Zachary Marchinko earned a podium finish Friday at the 3A state track and field championship. The junior from Carson clocked in at 9 minutes, 41 seconds in the 3,200-meter run on the Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T.

Marchinko finished less than 3.5 seconds behind state champion Matthew Conner from Weddington. The time was a bit off his personal best. He ran a 9:22.22 earlier this season.

The runner-up finish was the highest finish among any Rowan County athlete in any event at the N.C. High School Athletic Association track and field championship.

Marchinko qualified for the state meet in the 1,600-meter run, but he elected to not run the race.

West Rowan’s Khalia Hall put up a pair of solid showings in the girls long jump and triple jump. Hall, the Rowan County champion in both events, finished third in the triple jump with a distance of 37-feet, 2-inches. The junior placed seventh in the long jump after flying 16-feet, 10.5 inches.

Juwan Houston, also from West Rowan, nabbed a bronze-medal finish in the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.65-second run. Houston won the South Piedmont Conference title in the event with a 15.21-second dash.

He was not the only runner from West Rowan to earn points in a hurdles race. Kevin Galliard, who swept the county and South Piedmont Conference championships in the event, wound up with a fourth-place finish. Galliard cut 1.64 seconds off his time from the conference meet.

West Rowan’s J.T. Sanders placed fifth in the 400-meter dash. Sanders was only .11 seconds from taking fourth from Maurice Mason from Eden Morehead.

East Rowan’s Conor Honeycutt went into the 800-meter run as the top seed in the state. Honeycutt, who secured the championship-clinching points for the Mustangs at the Rowan County Championship, finished ninth in the 800.

Marshall Shank, a pole vaulter from East Rowan, nabbed a top-five finish at the state meet on Friday. Shank, who is going to Carson-Newman on a track and field scholarship, won the county champion by clearing 14 feet. He vaulted over 15 feet Friday and placed fourth in the state.

South Rowan had a pair of top-10s in the girls pole vault. Dakotah Lambert and Brittany Luckey both cleared 10 feet to finish sixth and seventh, respectively, in the event.

Rowan County is home to a pair of top-five finishers in the high jump. East Rowan’s Brittany Small cleared the bar at 5-foot-4 to take fourth place in the girls event. Finishing fourth in the boys competition was South Rowan’s Lavon Hill. Hill’s attempt at a 6-foot-4 jump was successful.

The Mustangs got a nice showing from Jocelyn Lowe in the discus. Lowe, with a throw of 98 feet, placed seventh.

Taylor Kirk did her part for the Mustangs. Kirk, a junior, nabbed a point for East Rowan after throwing 8-feet, 5-inches in the girls wheelchair shotput. It was a 9.5-inch improvement from Kirk’s 1-foot-8 throw April 23 at the South Piedmont Conference championship meet.

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