Wheatmore distance standout Hazelwood ready to run at different pace

Zach Hazelwood of Wheatmore relaxes after his final high school race last month in the Class 2A state meet. (Bob Sutton / Randolph Record)

 GREENSBORO – Zach Hazelwood is looking forward to more relaxing runs after a stellar high school career as the area’s top distance runner.

Hazelwood finished his senior year for Wheatmore and figured it’s time to back off from the running pace.

“I’m just about ready to be done,” he said following his final high school competition last month at North Carolina A&T’s track in Greensboro.

Hazelwood placed 10th in the 3,200 meters in the Class 2A state meet.

He said he wasn’t disappointed with how that ended, knowing some of the other runners were going to be faster than him.

“It was the same amount of fun,” he said. A little sad because I won’t be doing this going forward.”

For much of the past three years, Hazelwood set the pace in the Piedmont Athletic Conference and Randolph County in distance events.

Hazelwood, also an all-conference swimmer, said his favorite competitions came in cross country. He was a two-time PAC Runner of the Year in cross country and three-time state meet participant.

Next, he’s heading to North Carolina State, where he said he’ll be interested in participating with the club track team with “a little less stress.”

Because Hazelwood was such an overwhelming winner in distance races, it’s unclear who’ll ascend to be the next top distance runner in Randolph County. He said he hopes it’s a runner representing Wheatmore.

By Bob Sutton