AUSTIN — It’s only fitting that the final track meet Darius Mitchell would participate in as a high school athlete would take place in a college stadium.
After all, he is ready to take his speed to the West Texas town of El Paso to join the UTEP Miners. But first he had one more high school showcase.
Mitchell finished fourth in the Class 5A boys 200-meter dash and helped Harker Heights’ 1,600 relay team finish fourth at the UIL State Championships on Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
“These past four years have honestly been some of the best years of my life,” Mitchell said. “I may not have finished how I wanted to, but I just had a great time.”
Mitchell posted a time of 21.29 seconds in the 200 and teamed with Jevon Wallace, Jaquan Johnson and younger brother D’Undre to post a 3:16.45 in the relay.
Mitchell was 0.11 seconds outside of a medal as Katy Morton Ranch’s Jacarias Martin took the bronze (21.18). Port Arthur Memorial’s Corey Dauphine (20.76) won the race and Cibolo Steele’s Andrew Hudson (21.09) was the runner-up.
“Halfway out of the curve, I started to get tight and I couldn’t pick up speed since I got tight in my leg, thigh and hamstring,” Mitchell said. “I tried to finish and couldn’t pick up. It was a bad 200 today.”
Mitchell came into the state meet with the best qualifying time of 20.91 in Class 5A.
Mitchell ran the fourth leg of the relay race and crossed the finish line 0.05 seconds after Converse Judson’s Roy Reece for third.
“I forgot the pain and just ran,” Mitchell said. “I had to run for my brother and all of them. He (D’Undre) gave me a pretty good lead.”
Humble Kingwood (3:13.25) took gold in the relay while Arlington Martin (3:15.48) won the silver.
Mitchell sat on the southeast corner of the stadium trying to catch his breath after two tough races and could barely stand because of the pain in his hamstrings.
But he won’t be sitting long.
“I’ll rest for a few weeks, get back on it in the summer and be ready for UTEP,” Mitchell said.