William Floyd High School star student-athlete Zariel Macchia recently qualified for and competed in the women’s 3,000-meter run in the Pan American Games for the U20 USA Athletics Track & Field team, held the weekend of Aug. 5 to 6 at Jose A. Figueroa Freire Stadium, in Puerto Rico. She joined some of the best high school and college runners representing Team USA. Zariel finished with a time of 9:52.40, earning the bronze medal for Team USA.
Additionally, Zariel was recently recognized as one of the top high school athletes in the nation, as she was selected to be part of the Nike Elite Program. The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) in partnership with USA Track & Field, announced the program, a one-of-a-kind initiative designed to provide support for the top United States high school track and field athletes, helping fuel the next generation of the sport to reach their goals and potential.
Zariel will work with Nike and will be able to communicate with the brand’s professional athletes to learn and hear about their experiences in track and field. She will also be equipped with Nike’s brand-leading footwear and apparel for training and competitions, and will have the opportunity to compete in key Nike-sponsored events throughout the year, including Nike’s Indoor & Outdoor Nationals. The Nike Elite Program kicked off in late July with an event at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. Zariel is just one of 40 high school track and field athletes this year—20 male and 20 female—who will be supported by the program.
Zariel’s success is not limited to the track, as she was recently accepted into the Rising STEM Scholars Program at Brookhaven National Laboratory. After earning the top score on all of her advanced placement exams last school year, Zariel impressed members of the staff and earned an invitation to apply.