LIBERTY HILL – Lampasas refused to make the same mistake twice. After falling three points shy of winning the District 8-3A championship last year, the Badgers were determined to not let history repeat itself, using a strong showing in the field events to clinch the program’s second district title in school history Thursday at Liberty Hill’s Panther Stadium.
Once the championship was secured, Lampasas senior Steven Jazdyk, who qualified for the upcoming area meet in four events, said the moment was special.
“This feels great,” he said. “I had an
opportunity to be part of both district championships. We were leading in points and then had to fight it out to the end. There is talent all the way around on this team, and I don’t see another group coming through with the speed and the drive. We’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting.”
Lampasas won its first district title in 2011 and finished in a tie with Gatesville last year, finishing two points behind champion Brownwood.
But after entering the second day of competition with a 21-point cushion over second-place Brownwood, the Badgers claimed the district crown with 133 points, beating the host Panthers by 14 points with Brownwood (116), Burnet (114), Gatesville (74) and Llano (62) following in the final standings.
“This is very special,” Lampasas head coach Gus Ortiz said. “They talked about how they wanted to finish what they didn’t finish last year, and we were very fortunate to finish the season strong.”
For Gary Spencer, who was part of Lampasas’ first-place 400-meter relay, second-place 4x200 team and set a stadium record of 23.06 in the 200 en route to a gold medal, last year’s disappointment was motivation this season.
“Last year, everyone was heartbroken,” the senior said. “Then we came back and just crushed it today.”
The Badgers finished with six gold medals, advancing to the area meet in a dozen events. The top four finishers in each event advanced to the area meet at Brownwood on Thursday.
Steffen McCarter walked away with the most gold, winning the long jump (22-11 ½), the triple jump (45-0) and the 110 hurdles (15.93).
“I’m ecstatic right now,” McCarter said. “This is the best feeling I’ve had all season. It’s amazing.”
Jazdyk emerged with two gold medals and two silver medals. The Oklahoma commit won the 100 (10.54) and joined Chase Birck, Avery Gary and Spencer to producing a winning time of 42.90 in the 400 relay. He also produced a second-place finish in the pole vault (14-6), and in the 800 relay, Cale Walker replaced Birck and the Badgers placed second with a time of 1:31.10.
Lampasas high jumpers Shonderius Howard (6-0) and James Franklin (5-10) finished first and second, while Marcus Morrison took second in the discus (147-3) and Jessie Windham placed third in the 300 hurdles (43.15).
“This is my first time to be part of a district championship team as a whole,” Howard said. “I’m just proud of everyone.”
Birck had similar sentiments.
“This is just an awesome feeling, knowing that in my senior year, we get to take the trophy home,” he said.
Gatesville boys advance
in eight events
Nick Meaders, who won the pole vault with a height of 16-0, and Andraque Jones, who won gold in the 300 hurdles (40.72), led a group of Gatesville athletes into the area round.
The pair accounted for the Hornets only gold medals of the day, but Jones continued to deliver, placing second in the 110 hurdles (15.33), third in the triple jump (42-8 ¼) and joined teammates Nicholas Gibson, Elmer Ramirez and Jake Kee to place third in the 1,600 relay with a time of 3:36.79.
Distance runner Abate Hennessy also had a strong showing, finishing second in both the 1,600 (4:42.32) and the 3,200 (10:25.66), while Rayven Jones qualified for the area meet with a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles (44.57).
All three Lady Hornets
relay teams qualify
Thanks to an impressive performance from their relay teams, which emerged with two gold and one silver medal, the Lady Hornets placed third at the district meet with 114 points. Host-squad Liberty Hill won with 179 points, while Brownwood finished second (159).
De’Jaria Cross, Alli Richardson, Sarah Hogan and Robbie Clarke combined to give Gatesville a first-place finish in the 400 relay (50.29), while Jordan Brock replaced Cross on the 1,600 relay team, which won with a time of 4:10.18. Richardson, Brock, Celine Castello and Cross finished second in the 800 relay (1:49.82).
Cross also qualified for the area meet in the long jump (2nd, 16-10) and 200 (2nd, 27.32), while Brock (2:24.57) and Hogan (1:01.05) won the 800 and 400, respectively.
Clark added a second-place finish in the 100 (12.58), and Robin Galiano finished fourth in the long jump with a leap measuring 16-7.
Lampasas girls earn
three bronze medals
The Lady Badgers had a difficult time at the district meet, finishing fifth as a team with 44 points, but the team still managed to send three athletes to the area meet.
Sarah Porter posted a height of 4-10 in the high jump, Ashlyn Theus finished the 100 in 13.00 and Claire Dunning delivered a time of 1:01.69 in the 400.