Watching Marcus Krah compete in high school sometimes felt like watching Usain Bolt run against a tortoise.
Competing at Hillside High School in Durham, Krah was leaps and bounds beyond the competition he saw in an average track and field meet, himself noting that at times he could just jog to win. But that does not mean the current UNC redshirt freshman thinks he’ll be able to do that on the college level.
See, Krah has an immensely impressive running resume and has yet to run a single college meet. In high school, he won a New Balance national title in the 110m hurdles and a 2016 IAAF U20 World Championship in the same event. Krah says he'd never run in a stadium such as the one in Poland for those world championships, but he said those meets taught him how to run hard against runners of a much higher caliber than those in high school.
Worth noting is that Krah’s time of 13.25 seconds on 110m hurdles (albeit on 39-inch hurdles rather than the collegiate 42-inch hurdles) is already faster than the current UNC school record held by Allen Johnson from 1993. Getting back to the time he ran in high school is Krah’s immediate goal as he adjusts to the different hurdle height. Doing so would give him the school record and still give him room to shoot for higher goals, such as qualifying for nationals.
He feels prepared to do so, after being forced to redshirt last season with injuries. Krah has been able to get on the track earlier and get in better work than he has ever before, not splitting time on other sports like he did as a high school football player.
He's still getting used to running with others and getting a feel for the track at UNC, and he's putting in work getting over the higher hurdles. But after dominating at Hillside, he feels ready for the upcoming indoor season and moving into outdoor track.
The Tar Heels take to the track for the first time in 2018 on Saturday at noon for the Dick Taylor Carolina Cup against N.C. State, Duke and ECU in Chapel Hill. Krah will be competing in the 60m hurdles and comes in with the fastest seed time of the field. How Krah performs this weekend will be telling of how ready he is to go after a school record that has stood for 25 years.