The quest for speed

By Ty Bunnell | Photographer

Seniors Zach Hammond, Sergio Marroquin and Eddie Rodriguez are making their presence known in the Midwestern League, as they are among the top seeds for this week’s district track and field meet. The three are not only leaders of the distance crew they are also best friends.

“In a sense we’re almost inseparable, “Rodriguez said. “We eat lunch together, we have classes together and we run together.”

Marroquin and Rodriguez first met in the fifth grade and have had a special bond since then. When the two heard about Hammond moving to MHS at the end of their sophomore year, they were not open to the idea of a new friend. After they met him, however, they were more willing to accept him.

“As we started to get know him we started to figure out he laughs at all of our jokes, and that’s what we like about him,” Marroquin said. “He just fit in with us because we all like the same type of things.”

Marroquin and Hammond live just a few houses apart so it was not long before the two became a trio.

“Sergio and I live practically across the street. Whenever he’s bored or I’m bored we hang out,” Hammond said.

Marroquin said the three also push each other to work hard.

“Without each other, a lot of mileage and base training that needs to get done wouldn’t get done,” Marroquin said.

The trio is able to set aside their friendship while competing against one another.

“We know that whatever happens in a race we’ll always be friends, but we still try to beat each other,” Marroquin said.

Current head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach Doug Landrum has worked with Marroquin and Rodriguez since the end of their eighth grade year, and with Hammond since he came to Marshfield. Landrum said the trio works well together.

“They really kind of feed off each other as far as their work ethic. They’re always pushing each other,” Landrum said. “They have common characteristics between the three of them; it’s really a burning desire to exceed.”

Perhaps the trio’s largest success was leading the boys cross country team to a district title for the first time at Marshfield in the last 43 years in 2010 and again in 2011.

“It was magical,” Hammond said.

Each has had individual success as well.

Hammond ran for Bonners Ferry High School in Idaho and qualified for the state meet there as a sophomore. Hammond’s strongest events include the 3000 and 1500-meter runs. He placed second in these events at the Midwestern League District Championships last year, which qualified him for the OSAA State Track and Field Meet, where he placed in the top twelve and the team placed second overall. Hammond has also participated in the state cross country meet all four years of high school and was the individual district champion last fall.

Marroquin has competed at the state cross country meet for the past three years, and at the state track meet last year for the first time. As a junior, he placed first in the 800-meter run and the 4×400 meter relay at district and sixth and fourth at the state competition, respectively.

Hammond and Marroquin’s performances helped lead Marshfield to second place at the state  track meet in 2011.

Rodriguez has also competed in track and field and cross country for the past four years, and is currently one of the track team captains. Rodriguez has competed at the cross country state meet for the past three years, and said his favorite event is the 3000-meter run.

Hammond, Marroquin and Rodriguez have helped bring three consecutive district track titles to Marshfield and hope to finish their senior year with a boys and co-ed title.

“Sergio and Zach, I’m hoping that they will advance in two events each to compete in the state meet,” Landrum said. “That’s a little bit more of a stretch for Eddie, but at the same time, he can still play a big role in us getting another district title for the men’s track team; his points that he can score at district will be critical in really helping determine whether we can beat Marist for that boy’s title.”