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Gosnell's McKinney strides for victory, sore leg and all

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Photographs by Stephen B. Thornton

Marquel McKinney of Gosnell hurt his leg Wednesday during the state high school decathlon but still managed to hold on and win by 255 points over Adrian Broadus of Bentonville.

CABOT -- Marquel McKinney wasn't sure if he could complete the Arkansas high school decathlon Wednesday night at Panther Stadium.

The Gosnell senior tweaked his right leg during the triple jump, the next-to-last event before the 1,500-meter run in the 10-event competition spread out over two days.

But McKinney pushed through and won the 53rd annual event with 6,140 points, besting Bentonville senior Adrian Broadus by 255.

McKinney had trouble standing up for a picture with the other top 10 decathlon competitors after it was over, telling them, "I feel like an old man."

"I'm very sore," McKinney said. "I guess they do say hard work pays off."

McKinney was Gosnell's first decathlon winner.

"He's a fighter. He's a warrior," Gosnell Coach David Brown said. "He's impressive to me."

McKinney led after first day with 3,455 points. He earned victories Wednesday in the long jump and high jump and was third in the 400 meters.

On Thursday, McKinney finished 19th in the 110 high hurdles, 18th in the discus and 24th in the pole vault. He finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 44 feet, 11¾ inches to earn 667 points. In the 1,500, McKinney finished seventh at 4:48.74, which gave him 626 points and the decathlon title.

Brown said he tried to ice up McKinney before the 1,500, which took place about 15 minutes after the triple jump ended. McKinney, who first injured his leg at the Meet of Champions in Russellville last Saturday, went on to run in the 1,500 and impressed his coach in the process.

"He was amazing," Brown said of McKinney. "He blew me away on that 1,500."

Broadus had 5,885 points, good for second place. Springdale Har-Ber senior Zach McWhorter was third with 5,880 points.

Rounding the top ten were Crossett's Marcus Bornslater (5,751 points), Caddo Hills' Christian Duggan (5,708), Fayetteville's Austin Compton (5,618), Clinton's Bradley Amos (5,467), De Queen's Hunter Earney (5,402), Rogers' Landon McClung (5,398) and Lake Village's Angelo Brown (5,396).

McWhorter cleared 15 feet, 5¾ inches to win the pole vault and earned 825 points. Lake Hamilton's Michael Harris and Haze Farmer each cleared 15-0 and picked up 781 points apiece.

Compton and Russellville's Zeb Taylor each earned 799 points by posting the fastest time in the 110 high hurdles (15.42). Earney had the third-fastest time at 15.48 and picked up 792 points.

Duggan had the winning discus throw with 133-7, earning 679 points. McClellan's Marcis Hall was second (124-10) and Gentry's Jon Faulkenberry was third (123-3).

Broadus jumped 46-0 to win the triple jump. He earned 707 points. McKinney was second (44-11¾) and Prescott's Deonte Jamison was third (44-0¾).

Jessieville's Noah Eskew earned 838 points by winning the 1,500 in 4:16.13. Heber Springs' Parker Ables (4:17.47) was second and was followed by Springdale Har-Ber's Ethan Carney (4:25.74).

McKinney's success this season, which includes Class 4A individual state championships in the high jump and triple jump earlier this month in Paragould, is something Brown hopes the younger athletes in Gosnell see in the future.

"It gives them something to strive for and look for," Brown said. "He's been one of those one in every five-year type of kids or once in a lifetime type of kids. He's been able to do everything."

Sports on 05/19/2017

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