COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove only won one event, but it was all the Bulldawgs needed.
While distance runner Cameron Woodberry produced his squad’s lone gold medal in the 1,600-meter run, his teammates delivered a total of 10 top-3 finishes, allowing host Copperas Cove to win the Bulldawg Relays over a field of District 8-5A rivals Saturday.
“I didn’t see just one great thing, but I saw a lot of good things,” Copperas Cove head coach Keith Stifflemire said. “We were solid in the field events, we were solid in the sprints, and then we were solid in the relays and the distance. We weren’t shinning in one area, but we were good all over.”
The Bulldawgs, who won with 111 points, ended the meet with five silver and five bronze medals, and their 11 total medals were three more than second-place Harker Heights (91 points). Besides Copperas Cove, the Knights and third-place Shoemaker (67) were the only teams to produce at least two first-, second- and third-place finishes.
“We’re going to have a great season,” Stifflemire said, “but for us to repeat as the district champs, we are going to have to tweak a few things and improve a few things. … If (the rest of the district teams do) what they are capable of, then it is going to be tight for the rest of the season.”
Harker Heights rode its relay team to a pair of first-place finishes as Terrance Goodwin, James Freeman, Darius Mitchell and Brandon Hill won the 400-meter relay in 42.31 seconds before Ramone Houston replaced Goodwin on the 800 relay team, winning the event in 1:29.03.
Houston also delivered a second-place showing of 43-feet in the triple jump and finished third in the long jump (22-9½), while Mitchell’s time of 22.39 was good for second place in the 200. Hill added a second-place finish in the 100 with a time of 10.92.
“I don’t mean to sound cocky or anything, but I’m use to three (first-place) medals,” said Hill, a 2012 state qualifier in the 100 and 200. “I don’t like losing. I wanted three.”
Salado’s Ryan Simmons was the only individual to earn a pair of gold medals, winning both the shot put (55-9½) and discus (161-0), but like Hill, he was not completely satisfied.
“I’m really wanting to get a personal record, but with the discus, it was a good 20 feet under,” Simmons said. “Its something to build on. It wasn’t a record-breaking day, but it is always fun to take the gold medal.”
Of the seven teams competing from outside District 8-5A, Salado had the highest finish, placing fifth with 58 points. The Eagles were sandwiched between fourth-place Temple (63) and Belton (55), Ellison (49) and Killeen (34), which rounded out the top eight.
Salado was the only team to earn three gold medals. Eagles distance runner Alex Cooke won the 3,200 with a time of 9:41.41, edging out Woodberry (9:45.91). The roles were reversed in the 1,600, however, as Woodberry’s time of 4:31.06 narrowly topped Cooke’s 4:31.09.
Temple had a high finish despite garnering only one gold medal, which came in the meet’s final event — the 1,600 relay. Jamarkese Williams, Clint Cole, Devonte McClennon and Victor Lemons posted a winning time of 3:25.49.
Shoemaker constructed a solid outing behind gold-medal performances from Johnny Jefferson in the 200 (22.24) and Quasan Hill in the high jump (6-8), while Ellison also delivered a pair of first-place finishers in Effrain Hernandez, who ran the 800 in 1:59.15, and Josh Leverett, who won the 110 hurdles in 15.82.
Leverett’s time barely topped the performance from Killeen hurdler Bryant Farmer, who was second in the 110 hurdles (15.86) and won the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.17 to claim the Kangaroos’ only top-2 finishes.
“I feel I’m where I need to be (for now),” Farmer said, “but I still have a little more work to do before Texas Relays and other events like regionals.”
Heights dominates Lady Bulldawg Relays
Paced by eight first-place performances, Harker Heights cruised to a lopsided victory at the Lady Bulldawg Relays on Friday.
The Lady Knights finished with 159 points and their margin of victory — 76 points – was more than the totals produced by 10 of the 11 teams beneath them in the final standings.
Harker Heights swept the relay events as Keyauna Wilder, Janelle Brown, JoVanna Jones and Brittany Adkins won the 400-meter relay in 48.26 before Kennetra Hill replaced Brown to deliver a time of 1:46.39 in the 800 relay. Karissa Hegens, Ambrya Mack, and Aliayah McDonald then joined Hill to post a 4:12.92 in the 1,600 relay.
Adkins also won the 100 (12.61), while McDonald finished first in the 400 (1:00.29). Mack had a gold-medal time of 47.80 in the 300 hurdles and won the high jump with a height of 5-4.
Lizzy Crosby tied for first place with Temple’s Heidi Alaniz in the pole vault (9-6) to round out the Lady Knights’ top finishes.
Copperas Cove placed second as a team with 83 points, beating out Killeen and Shoemaker, who tied for third place with 75 points. Temple (72). Belton (69), Class 2A Salado (51) and Class 1A Lometa (16) rounded out the top eight.
The Lady Grey Wolves claimed a majority of the field events, winning the long jump, shot put, discus and triple jump, while Killeen won the 200 and 1,600 to go along with seven other top-five finishes.
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com