High school indoor track: South’s Julian 3A state champ
Published 6:33 am Saturday, February 11, 2023
By Mike London
WINSTON-SALEM — South Rowan has its first indoor track state champion since 1997 and only the second in school history.
South junior Eli Julian rolled to the 3A state title in the 3200 meter run on Friday at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, for the Raiders’ first indoor track title since Nathan Page won the high jump in 1997.
For a state championship event, it was a remarkably breezy win for Julian, who was clocked in 9:35 and was the first Rowan County runner to win the 1600 or 3200 in a state indoor meet.
“Eli just ran away with it, won the race by more than 100 meters,” South coach Tyler Downs said. “He used the slight advantage of fresher legs and he ran away from everyone at the start.”
Julian is about equally proficient in the 1600 (slightly less than a mile) and the 3200.
It’s tough to do both events at the state level on the same day. Julian was seeded third in both events.
So he had a decision to make.
He made the right one.
“He kind of went back and forth on it, but he did a good job of doing his homework on the other runners and figuring out who would be going after the 1600 and who would be in the 3200 and where his best chance was,” Downs said. “Doing the homework paid off for him, and I’m one very proud coach.”
Julian was a little surprised to be running alone, but he just kept pushing, running against the clock.
“I knew my chances would be better in the 3200, and it worked out,” he said. “I pretty much ran solo the entire race. I knew after the first mile or so that I was on my own. I just kept piling on some decent splits for the win.”
South’s Macy Miller placed fourth in the girls high jump, clearing 5 feet, 2 inches.
South’s Bricen Burleson placed seventh in the 1000 meter run. He ran in the slower heat and blew that heat away. He ran 2:40.
“Had Bricen been in the faster heat, I think he would have scooped up a few more spots,” Downs said.
East Rowan’s Seth Drake took third place in the pole vault, clearing 13 feet.
Carson’s 4×800 relay team of Connor Price, James Anderson, Eric Gillis and Gabe Honeycutt ran 8:37 and placed fifth.