Long Island teen earns bronze medal at Pan Am games in Puerto Rico


William Floyd’s Zariel “Z” Macchia earned a bronze medal for Team USA at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico this month.

Representing the U20 USA Athletics Track & Field team, Macchia finished third in the women’s 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:52.40. The race was held inside Puerto Rico’s Jose A. Figueroa Freire Stadium.

Macchia of Shirley is set to begin her junior year next month at William Floyd High School. She has been a cross country and track and field star since early on in middle school.

Her standout performance at the Pan Am Games helped earn her an exclusive invitation to the illustrious Nike Elite Program. Kicked off in late July with an event at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, the initiative is designed to provide support for the top U.S. high school track and field athletes.

Click here to view Macchia’s Nike Elite Program bio page.

Macchia, who is among just 20 female athletes picked to participate in the program, will communicate with Nike’s professional athletes to learn and hear about their experiences in track and field. She will also be equipped with Nike footwear and apparel for training and competitions.

Additionally, Macchia will compete in Nike-sponsored events across the year, including Nike’s Indoor & Outdoor Nationals.

Macchia’s success extends beyond the track.

Her high scores on advanced placement exams earned her an invitation to join the prestigious Rising STEM Scholars Program at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Top photo: Zariel Macchia (Courtesy of the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation)