By Alex Byington
Harker Heights Herald
COPPERAS COVE - With Shardasha Patterson's silver-medal finish in the 300 hurdles, coming in second only to teammate Tearra Roberson, the Lady Grey Wolves pulled ahead of favorite Harker Heights to claim the track program's first-ever girls District 12-5A championship April 12 at the district track and field meet at Bulldawg Stadium.
"We got what we wanted - (we're) district champs," Patterson said. "We were the underdogs, but now we're coming up on top."
Led by a gold-medal hat trick from Texas A&M-bound senior LeKesha Jelks, who won all three races she competed in - the 200-, 400- and 800-meter runs - and two golds apiece from Roberson and junior thrower Cion Hicks, the Lady Grey Wolves bested the Lady Knights 156-138 in the team standings.
In all, Shoemaker came home with nine gold medals and qualified 12 to advance to the Region II-5A meet April 27-28 in Waco in 13 events.
Jelks was a perfect 3-for-3 on Thursday, running away in the 200 (25.619), the 400 (56.1) and the 800 (2:17.89).
Often going head-to-head with representatives from Heights, it was the usually downtrodden Lady Grey Wolves that pulled out the victories, including winning the 400-meter relay (48.43) after the Lady Knights botched the second exchange and finished third.
That misstep set the tone for what would be a rough day for the Heights girls.
Outside of finishing 1-2 in the 100 with Brittany Adkins (12.032) and Kiara McCoy (12.349), and owning the 800- (1:42.83) and 1600-meter relays (4:00.34), the Lady Knights struggled when pressured by Shoemaker.
"To come out here at district and not finish on top, it hurts for the whole team," said junior Aliayah McDonald, who finished third and fourth in the 400 and 200, respectively, but anchored the 1,600 relay.