It seems everybody is after Marcus Krah. And that’s exactly how he likes it.
Krah, a senior at Durham’s Hillside High, has been ahead of most of the nation’s top sprinters and jumpers since he was 13 years old.
Krah won the 13-14 boys title in the triple jump at the 2011 USATF nationals with a mark of 44 feet, 3/4 inch, which was still a national age-group record heading into this spring.
Last year, he won the 110 hurdles and was third in the long jump at the N.C. High School Athletics Association 4A state championships in Greensboro. This year, he has his eye on winning both, and maybe going after the triple jump as well.
“His real goal is to win all three and get a triple crown,” said Rob Clodfelter, who was PAC-6 coach of the year for girls track. “He should be expected to win the hurdles again, but I think he’s also capable of reaching close to 50 feet in the triple jump and 25 feet in the long jump.”
Krah entered all three events at the NCHSAA indoor championships this month in Winston-Salem. He won the 55-meter hurdles (7.24 seconds), took second in the triple jump (47 1/2 ) and was third in the long jump (22-2.5).
“It didn’t turn out exactly like I thought it would,” Krah said. “I went in thinking I should win all three, but I won the hurdles, and I’m satisfied with that.”
Krah’s hopes for a triple crown weren’t just day-dreams.
His triple jump at the NCHSAA indoors was less than 5 inches behind winner Darryl Shaw of Fayetteville Jack Britt (47-5 1/4 ) and his long jump was nine behind champion Jeremy Davis (22-11 1/2 ) of Greensboro Smith.
“I definitely think I can win all three, but I’ve got to get better,” Krah said.
Davis, a UNC-Chapel Hill signee who also won the NCHSAA outdoor long jump in 2014, is one of the handful of competitors Krah not only watches closely but also considers a friend. He also spends time at meets talking with Sanderson’s Emmanuel Jackson, another of the nation’s top hurdlers. Jackson recently committed to Virginia.
Jackson was seeded ahead of Krah in last year’s NCHSAA outdoors meet and beat him by one-hundredth of a second in the prelims, but Krah nipped him at the tape in the finals.
“I can never slack off because of them,” Krah said. “They’re my friends, but I always look forward to competing with them.”
Krah said his performance at the 2015 indoor championships lacked some of the fire he displayed in last year’s outdoor meet.
“Usually I’m the one who’s always laughing and joking before an event,” he said. “But this time, I was thinking, ‘My goodness, it’s states. I can’t let these guys beat me.’ It was just that big a meet to me.
“I need to get over that and do what I know I can do.”
Krah ’s abilities are not limited to the track. He also earned three letters in football at Hillside as a 5-foot-10, 175-pound all-purpose back. (His brothers Myer and Aaron played at Navy and Appalachian State.)
State champions to watch
Jonathan Avery, Cary Acad.
NCISAA 3A 100, 200
T.J. Bleicher, Fuquay-Varina
4A indoor 500
Jeremy Brown, Broughton
4A cross country
Nyheim Hines, Garner
4A indoor 55 meters
Desmond Jackson, Hillside
4A indoor/outdoor amputee long jump; 300 indoor; 100, 200 and 400 outdoor
Marcus Krah, Hillside
4A 110 hurdles, 55 indoor hurdles
Jordan Mattox, SERaleigh
4A indoor wheelchair, 55 meters shot
Drew Pederson, Apex
4A pole vault
Connor Peebles, C. Gibbons
3A indoor 1,000
Dylan Peebles, Wakefield
4A indoor 300
Dylan Pinder, North Johnston
1A/2A indoor 55 wheelchair; outdoor 100 and 200
Ryan Speer, N. Raleigh
NCISAA 3A 800 meters
Michael Utecht, Apex
4A indoor pole vault