AUSTIN — The Killeen Independent School District was well represented in the girls 400 relay with Shoemaker, Killeen and Harker Heights each qualifying for the Texas Relays.
The girls 400 relay was one of the most populous events of the relays with more than 80 teams running in 11 different heats during the preliminaries and it was also one of the coolest, literally, with temperatures in the mid-50’s when the event began.
“It’s fun every time we come back,” Tyriete Dixon said. “I like running and seeing the best in Texas to see what I can compete against.”
Though none of the teams made it into the finals, the Grey Wolves quarter of sophomore Teddy Sparks, juniors Jasmine Rhodes and Dixon and senior Maya Little had the best showing with a time of 48.95 seconds and a 12th-place finish in the Girls High School Division II competition.
Dixon made her third appearance in the Texas Relays and ran the anchor leg of the relay. For her, making it to Austin and competing against the best in the state hasn’t lost its luster.
The Lady Roos had a mix of youth and experience with junior Sinoda Emanuel and senior Amber Ellis making it back to the relays along with newcomers in teammates Ariel Walton, a freshman, and Ghinvia Phillips, a senior.
“I think we did really well,” Emanuel said. “We all had positive attitudes and I think we did pretty well with our result.”
The Roos finished just out of the top third in 36th place (50.11 seconds).
The Lady Knights were running in the first heat and appeared to be on their way to one of the top times, but did not finish after the baton was dropped during the final exchange.
More than 40 athletes from the area qualified for the relays held over the weekend.
Harker Heights’ Darius Mitchell finished fourth in the Boys Division II 100-meter dash (10.77) and teamed with younger brother D’Undre, Jevon Wallace and Jaquan Johnson to set a school record in the Boys Division II 1,600 relay and finish sixth (3:18.22).
Lampasas was the area’s other relay team to qualify for Saturday’s finals in the Division I 800. The Badgers finished ninth (1:32.73).
Badger senior Shonderius Howard was the highest-placing area athlete after taking the silver in the boys high jump by clearing 6 feet, 11 inches.
Belton’s Justin Murphy was one spot out of the podium after finishing fourth in the boys shot put (58-8).
Two area throwers made it to the girls shot put finals, led by Lometa’s Tricia Williams who placed fifth (44-0½).
Harker Heights sophomore Chyna Otis, the other finalist, finished seventh (42-6), while Belton’s Chloe Lewis was 12th (39-1¼) and Salado’s Rachel Hildebrand was 16th (38-0¼).
West Texas A&M signee Brittany Mitchell represented the Lady Roos in the girls 1600 run where she finished eighth (5:02.88) after advancing to the event’s finals.
Gatesville pole vaulter Nicholas Meaders finished ninth (15-3) in the Boys Section A competition.
Gatesville’s Andraque Jones was 0.03 seconds from qualifying for the finals of the Division I 110 hurdles after finishing 10th (15.34).
Salado’s Ryan Simmons was in the top 10 in the boys shot put (53-6½) and 12th in the boys discus (168-1).
Belton’s Kaylee Krenek finished 19th in the girls Division II 100 hurdles (14.64) while Killeen’s Genesis Reid was 55th (16.26) in the same event.
Gatesville’s Robbie Clark finished 25th in the girls Division I 100 dash (12.85).
Shoemaker’s Darius Milford (15.36) finished 38th in the Boys High School Division II 110 hurdles. Teammate Toma Rivera finished four spots behind Milford (15.54) while Killeen’s Brandon Olwell was 45th (16.15).
The Killeen boys relay team placed 15th in the Boys Division II 800 relay (1:27.27), 24th in the 400 (42.92) and 54th in the 1,600 (3:32.51).
Belton’s boys relay team placed 15th in the Boys Division II 1,600 (3:21.05).
Gatesville’s boys relay team finished 31st in the Division I 1,600 (3:35.44).
Shoemaker’s boys relay team finished 32nd in the 400 (43.27) and 36th in the 1,600 (3:27.15).