In the competitive nature of track and field, very few teams want to come in second. But on Saturday the Killeen Kangaroos gladly took the silver that six other relay teams were looking for at the Fuller Track Complex in Lubbock.
Seniors DJ Lilley, Daniel McCants and Devyn Williams teamed with junior Kyle Boutte to post a time of 41.20 in the 400 relay and advance to the UIL Track and Field State Meet.
“I was disappointed, but then I was like, hey we’re going to state,” McCants said.
The state meet takes place on May 9-10 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus in Austin.
The Roos were neck-and-neck with Justin Northwest and lost by .03 seconds, but the important thing for head coach Greg Russell was advancing to state.
“The guys are excited,” Russell said. “They worked hard the last two or three weeks.”
Russell said the last 11 days between the 7-5A/8-5A Area Meet in Waco and the regional meet on Friday and Saturday was a big key for the team.
The Roos just got into the regional meet after finishing fourth at the area meet. Killeen posted a time of 41.82 seconds and finished just .06 seconds ahead of fifth place Mansfield.
“They were determined to make it to Austin in the sprint relay and they did,” Russell said.
Jack Cager, Chloe Lewis and Kaylee Krenek are headed to state after strong showings at the Region I-5A meet on Saturday. Cager won the regional title in the boys 400 dash (47.17) while Lewis was the top finisher in the girls shot put (43-8.25). Krenek finished second in the girls 100 hurdles (13.95).
Efrain Hernandez already established himself as one of the best distance runners in the area. Now he has a chance to prove himself at state after winning the boys 800 run on Saturday. Hernandez posted a time of 1:53.08 to take first place.
“It’s going to be exciting for him to finally get that payoff that he’s been working for four years now,” Ellison track coach Derek Levisay said.
Harker Heights senior Darius Mitchell will have two shots at a state meet medal next month.
Mitchell won the boys 200-meter dash regional title and helped the Knights relay team finish second in the 1600 relay on Saturday.
“Everybody dropped time and that’s what has to happen this time of year,” Heights boys track coach John Dulaney said. “They got it done.”
The University of Texas-El Paso commit posted a time of 20.91 in the 200 and teamed with Jequan Johnson, D’Undre Mitchell and Jevon Wallace in the 1,600 relay. Jacques Morgan ran on the relay team during Friday’s preliminaries and helped the Knights make it into Saturday’s finals.