AUSTIN — Jevon Wallace, Jaquan Johnson and the Mitchell brothers — Darius and D’Undre — returned to Mike A. Myers for the first time since the Texas Relays in March, but this time there were more than just statewide bragging rights on the line.
The quartet were looking to represent their schools against the best in Class 5A and bring home a medal.
The Knights finished fourth in the boys 1,600 relay at the UIL State Championships on Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
“I’m really proud of our 4-by-4,” Johnson said. “I’ve been running with them since our first meet of the season. I can’t say anything except I’m proud of them and I’ve got love for all of them.”
Heights posted a time of 3 minutes, 16.45 seconds and finished 0.05 seconds behind bronze-medal winner Converse Judson. Humble Kingwood (3:13.25) won the gold and Arlington Martin (3:15.48) finished second.
It was the first time Wallace, a freshman, Johnson and D’Undre, a junior, and Darius, a senior, qualified for the state meet.
“I just wanted to get my brother, Jevon and Jaquan to their first state meet,” said Darius, a Texas-El Paso commit. “It’s my last year. It wasn’t about me; it was about them.”
Wallace started the race with the first leg and handed the baton off to Johnson. D’Undre ran the third leg and older brother Darius finished off the race.
The Knights came into the meet with the second-best seed time of 3:14.55, 0.71 seconds behind Martin.
“That’s the part that hurts the most,” D’Undre said. “We came in here expecting to leave with a gold medal and we’re leaving bare-handed. We wanted it so bad, but we weren’t mentally focused.”
The Knights have been setting their sights on state ever since they won the district title with a time of 3:18.27.
The four runners were back at Myers Stadium for the first time since setting a then-school record 3:18.22 in the boys Division II race at the Texas Relays in March.
But this race included the best teams from Class 5A going for the gold.
“It was different,” Wallace said. “In the Texas Relays, we were OK, but we weren’t at our max. Today we did very well.”
Darius also finished fourth in the boys 200 (21.29), just 0.11 seconds out of a medal.
For the Mitchells, the race was one to cherish as Darius, a senior, ran with D’Undre, a junior, for the final time in their prep career.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Darius said. “It’s one of the best thrills in the state, hands-down. We may bicker and everything, but that’s my brother, and he left it on the track today. He ran his heart out.”
“It’s been a good year running these 4-by-4s, winning every time and handing it off to my brother,” D’Undre said.
“It’s like a dream come true.”
The Lady Knights girls 400-relay team also finished one spot out of a medal. Vivian Walters, Naomi Offenhaeuser, JoVanna Jones and Tadrien Rose ran a time of 46.55 seconds.
Houston Cypress Springs (46.30) won the girls Class 5A 400 relay, Cibolo Steele (46.34) was second and Converse Judson (46.49) was third.