“All that glitters is not gold.” — William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”
If the first weekend on the track is any indication, the Harker Heights Lady Knights could be swimming in gold this season.
But unlike the miserly Scrooge McDuck, the Lady Knights will need more than gold medals to make this season a success. They need championships.
Usually one of the area’s top track programs, Heights’ girls track team has struggled to turn individual success into team success, finishing second in back-to-back District 12-5A championship races to A&M Consolidated in 2011 and Shoemaker last season.
But last weekend at the season-opening Lady Bulldawg Relays at Copperas Cove’s Bulldawg Stadium, the Lady Knights dominated the rest of the area, cruising to eight first-place performances and a lopsided team victory.
Finishing with 159 total points Saturday, Heights’ margin of victory — 76 points — was more than the totals produced by 10 of the 11 teams in the final standings.
If that is any indication of what’s to come, the Lady Knights will reign supreme atop the District 8-5A standings. The Heights girls won the district championship in 2010 behind the combined efforts of current Texas A&M athletes Aliese Hyde and Melissa Mays. Winning district should only be the start for this year’s team. If those numbers remain steady, the Lady Knights should have their eyes on even shinier gold pieces at region and state.
This year, there’s another future Division I-bound runner spearheading the Lady Knights revival — Arkansas-signee Aliayah McDonald.
At the Lady Bulldawg Relays, McDonald won a pair of golds, finishing first in the 400-meter run (1:00.29) and anchoring the 1,600 relay (4:12.92) alongside Kennetra Hill, Karissa Hegens and Ambrya Mack as the Lady Knights swept three relay events Saturday.
Keyauna Wilder, Janelle Brown, JoVanna Jones and Brittany Adkins won the 400-meter relay in 48.26 for Heights before Hill replaced Brown to deliver a winning time of 1:46.39 in the 800 relay. Adkins also won the 100 (12.61), while Mack reeled in a team-high three gold medals with a time of 47.80 in the 300 hurdles and a height of 5-4 in the high jump, and Lizzy Crosby tied for first place in the pole vault (9-6).
While dominating 8-5A would be a return to power for the Lady Knights, the program needs to take the next step and show off its strength on a statewide scale. The Lady Knights need to collect gold medals at state to enjoy their riches like true track tycoons.