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Gosnell's McKinney leaps to the front by 173 points

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Photographs by Mitchell PE Masilun

Bradley Amos of Clinton (left), Ty Graser of Rogers Heritage (center) and Brandon Whitley of Cabot sprint toward the finish line in the 100-meter dash at the state high school decathlon Wednesday at Cabot High School. Amos, who finished with the third best time (11.20), trails first-place Marquel McKinney of Gosnell by 173 points going into today’s final five events.

CABOT -- Marquel McKinney jumped his way into the lead in the Arkansas high school decathlon Wednesday.

The Gosnell senior is in front after day one of the 53rd annual state high school decathlon at Panther Stadium with 3,455 points. He earned victories in the long jump and high jump and was third in the 400 meters.

McKinney was the Class 4A state champion in the high jump and triple jump earlier this month in Paragould.

"I just like jumping," McKinney said.

Gosnell Coach David Brown praised McKinney for his feats Wednesday.

"He's a hard worker," Brown said. "He's done really well. He always pushes himself. He always trying to do better at each event, even in events he's not accustomed to doing.

"He's done six events for us all year. He's done everything we've asked him to do."

Clinton senior Bradley Amos is second with 3,282 points. Crossett senior Marcus Bornslater is third (3,235).

Rounding out the top ten are Rogers Heritage's Ty Graser (3,131), Lake Village's Angelo Brown (3,103), Bentonville's Adrian Broadus (3,095), Fayetteville's Austin Compton (3,054), Caddo Hills' Christian Duggan (3,011), Little Rock McClellan's Marcis Hall (2,969) and Rogers' Landon McClung (2,953).

Batesville's Cedric Hall clocked in at 10.98 to win the 100-meter dash. He earned 865 points. Camden Fairview's Chris Hargraves was second with a time of 11.17 and Amos was third at 11.20.

McKinney jumped 22 feet, 2 1/2 inches to win the long jump. He earned 760 points. Broadus was second (21-2.25) and Brown was third (20-9.25)

Hall won the shot put with a winning throw of 48 feet, 6 inches, earning 776 points. Hargraves came in second (44-1.25) and Duggan was third (43-4).

McKinney won the high jump with a clearance of 6 feet, 3/4 inches for 670 points. Nashville's Kalob Carpenter led a four-way tie for second (5-10.75) with the fewest misses.

Springdale Har-Ber's Caleb Edwards clocked in at 51.37 to win the 400. He earned 753 points. His teammate Ethan Carney was second (51.47) and McKinney was third.

McKinney competed in five events during the outdoor season for Gosnell, the high jump, the triple jump, the long jump as well as the 100 and 400. It's that schedule that Brown believes helps McKinney and other multievent athletes in the decathlon.

"It's really helped him a lot," Brown said. "His mindset is when his event is over, 'I've got to get down. I've got to rest. I've got to stay hydrated and stay fresh and stay stretched out.'

"He's done a great job of doing that."

Day two of the decathlon begins at 10 a.m. today with five events -- the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, triple jump and the 1,500 meters.

McKinney finished 12th in last year's decathlon, but is more focused on what he can do for the Pirates program than himself.

"I just want to put a good name out for my school and do my best," McKinney said.

Sports on 05/18/2017

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