• 50°

Prep track: North senior Russell wins first indoor state title

By Mike London


North Rowan senior Payton Russell finally claimed her first indoor track state championship on Friday, blazing to victory in the 300 meters in a personal record of 40.29 seconds at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem.

“It felt really great,” Russell said. “It was kind of a long time coming.”

This was Russell’s fifth state title overall. She already is a two-time 1A/2A state outdoor champion in the 400 meters, her specialty, and she’s also won outdoor titles in the 200 and 4×400 relay.

Russell placed second in the 300 as a freshman and sophomore, both times finishing behind Elkin’s Shakai Ward. Both years, Russell ran a shade over 42 seconds.

Russell was unable to compete in the indoor championships as a junior due to a hamstring injury.

But Friday’s victory made all the waiting and all the training worthwhile.

“It’s just amazing to see all the time and work I put in pay off with a championship,” Russell said. “You work all that time for 40 seconds, and you want to be at your best.”

Russell only competed in the 300, although she likely could also have challenged in the 500.

“We just decided there wasn’t enough recovery time between the two races,” Russell said. “We didn’t want to take a chance of injury. The good thing was that my workout partner (West Montgomery junior Araybian Lilly) set a record and won the 500.”

Russell often competes in four sprint events in the same day, so Friday’s state meet, with just one event, was almost a vacation.

“I was like, ‘Wow, I’m done already,'” Russell said with a laugh.

Russell expressed pride in teammate Heavenly Robinson, who ran 43.10 in the 300 and earned a point for an eighth-place finish.

North’s Chevy Blaire placed sixth in the shot put (34 feet, 11 inches), while Lakayla Birst (5 feet) took fifth in the high jump.

North’s girls scored 18 points and  finished eighth.

North Brunswick dominated the boys meet, while the High Point Andrews women held off a  charge from defending champ Burlington Cummings to win the girls title.



RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey


Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County


Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park


History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County


‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove


Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations


‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation


Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year


Ester Marsh: What body type are you?


The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone


Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million


US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency


Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs


FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight


Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law


Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago


State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March


NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly


Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain


Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full


Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity


Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread