Several Anson County athletes brought home top honors from state championship competitions, including one who broke a state record.
Senior Patience Marshall won the gold in shot put with a throw of 44 feet, 8 inches during the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championship earlier this month —breaking a 30-year 1A/2A record.
“I was happy,” Marshall said. “Going into the meet, I wanted to win, but my main goal was breaking that two-way state record.”
This is Marshall’s fourth and final year, and she has qualified for the States every single year.
“I really do not know how to describe the feeling,” she said.
Marshall said that she knew that she could break the record and her goal for the spring: Break it again.
“I plan on hitting the weight room harder and maybe I can throw a 50,” she said. “I’m going for the overall state record in outdoor states … It’s 53, but I feel like I can get it if I work hard.”
Destiny Gayton placed third in the triple jump, with a jump of 34 feet, 7 inches.
It was Gayton’s third opportunity to compete in Indoor States.
“First I was only going there because I wanted to do well in high jump,” Gayton said.
Gayton said she had to run a 4×2, and was really tired and couldn’t get over her starting height in the jump.
“It made me really sad,” Gayton said.
Gayton said that she forgot about triple jump — until everyone started talking about it.
“I can barely even jump a 32 sometimes, so I wasn’t sure if I would get it,” Gayton said. “When I took my first jump, I jumped a 34 feet, 7 inches and I was happy. I never jumped a 34 before and I kept third place throughout the whole event.”
Gayton said her goals for the spring with the triple jump is to work out to make her legs stronger.
“With high jump, I want to be able to get up to (5 feet, 6 inches) finally,” she said. “I just need to believe in myself.”
Jaliyah Wall placed fourth in the triple jump, with a jump of 33 feet, 10 inches.
This was Wall’s first opportunity to compete in Indoor States.
“I really wasn’t expecting to go there and place,” she said.
Wall said she saw all the other girls jumping way farther than she usually did. Sometimes, Wall said she could barely jump a 32.
“I knew I had to step my game up, but it feels good to be a sophomore placing in States,” she said.
“I feel like outdoor track will go well because I’m going to get on the weights and make my legs a lot stronger so I can put a higher jump out there,” Wall added. “I do want to become a state champion, and maybe set a record.”
Wrestler Mikale McLendon, 126-pound weight class, placed third in regionals and was a state qualifier.
It was McLendon’s first opportunity to place in the regionals.
“I felt relieved but disappointed at the same time, because I knew I could have done better,” he said. “I’m still happy I got the third place, and was still able to qualify for States.”
McLendon also competed for the first time at the State Championship.
“It felt amazing and there was no pressure on me,” McLendon said. “It was fun to wrestle at the biggest stage in North Carolina, and to compete with some great athletes.”
McLendon said he hopes to bring home that state title next year.
“My main goal is to work on my techniques, to be more technical on the mat, having more strategies against my opponents,” he said. “My whole off-season, I will be going to tournaments and events to achieve my goal.”
Archee Haskins, 160-pound weight class, placed second in the Regionals and fifth in the state. Janonte McLendon, 152-pound weight class, placed fourth in Regionals and was a state qualifier.