LAMPASAS – Little mistakes can make a big difference.
A total of four points separated the top four boys teams at the District 8-3A track and field meet as Brownwood narrowly edged out Gatesville and Lampasas for the championship. The Hornets and Badgers each finished with 126 points to tie for second, and Liberty Hill placed fourth with 124 points.
After the meet, Gatesville head coach Elliott Kelley admitted he has never been a part of such a tight competition.
“You look back on it, and (the difference) is just one place somewhere in the meet,” he said. “It could have been any kid in any event. If they would have just got one more place (it could have changed everything), and you definitely look back on every event, but you can’t blame one kid. … This is the tightest district race I have been in ever.”
Lampasas head coach Stephen Moseley agreed.
“When it comes down to two points to winning a track meet between three teams, that is huge,” he said. “The level we competed at today was above and beyond what we’ve have in the past three or four weeks.”
In all, the Hornets advanced all three of its relay teams to the area meet along with 10 individuals, while the Badgers also qualified all three of its relay teams and 12 athletes in nine events, including Steven Jazdyk, who won the long jump (22-0 1/2) and pole vault (14-0), but injured a hamstring and was forced to withdraw from two events.
“He would have been the difference,” Moseley said.
The top four finishers from each event advance to the area meet at Stephenville on April 18.
Along with Jazdyk, Lampasas also won gold in the 400-meter relay and in high jump, where Shonderieus Howard won with a height of 6-6.
“This is my first time winning district,” Howard said. “I wanted to win it bad. I wasn’t going to let anyone beat me.”
Gatesville’s Jake Kee won the 400-meter dash in 51.52 to give the Hornets their lone gold medal of the meet, which was run almost in its entirety Thursday after inclement weather postponed the field events Wednesday.
On the girl’s side, however, Gatesville cleaned up as Kat Cross helped win three gold medals for the program. Cross started her day by taking first in the long jump with a season-best distance of 16-10 ¾before helping the 400-meter and 800 relay teams win gold.
“(When I have a good long jump) it rolls into the other events,” Cross said. “If I do good in my long jump then I know this meet is going to go perfect.”
Gatesville finished fourth as a team with 99 points behind champion Brownwood (154), Burnet (137) and Liberty Hill (132). Lampasas placed fifth with 63 points.
Julie Mize, who advanced to area with the 400 and 800 relay teams, also qualified in the long jump, finishing third with a 16-1, and provided the Lady Badgers with their lone gold medal by winning the triple jump (36-2).