COPPERAS COVE — In the final event, Harker Heights refused to lose.
Owning a slight 11-point advantage over Shoemaker entering the 1,600-meter relay, the Lady Knights delivered a gold-medal performance to secure the team championship at the Bulldawg Relays on Saturday.
Knowing the collective mentality of the quartet, Lady Knights head coach Michelle Womack was not surprised by the result.
“They do not like to lose,” she said of Desiree Corbett, Corianna Parham, Kennetra Hill and Jaleea Bonnell. “Traditionally, we’ve had a pretty strong mile relay team, so they take a lot of pride in that race, and they stepped up big tonight.”
With a time of 4 minutes, 11.18 seconds, Harker Heights beat second-place Pflugerville Hendrickson by almost a second, finishing with 145 points, while Shoemaker (126) and Hendrickson (108) rounded out the top three, followed by Killeen (49), Salado (47) and Midway (35).
The Lady Knights ended up on top in the medal count, earning 13 top-three finishes and winning four events. Outside of Shoemaker, which tallied 11 medals, no other program accounted for more than four.
In addition to the 1,600-meter relay team, Vivian Walters (36-9) won the
triple jump, Jovanna Jones (12.26) placed first in the 100 and Teal Williams’ time of 15.54 won the 100 hurdles for the Lady Knights.
Womack pointed to her seven silver and two bronze medalists as the catalyst for the team’s success.
“A lot of times, it is not the gold medals that win you first place,” she said. “It is those seconds, thirds and fourths that pick up all the chippy points that help you win the meet. I think we still have some room to improve though.”
Although a win in the 1,600 relay could have potentially won the meet for Shoemaker, head coach Kevin Ellison believes his team lost its grasp on the championship trophy much earlier in the day.
“It all goes back to the field events,” he said. “We had the opportunity to win a couple of those events, but didn’t quite finish the job. That is where we have to fix some things.”
Despite his disappointment, the Lady Grey Wolves walked away with one gold and three silver medals in the field events. Jasmine Rhodes won the high jump by clearing 5-2, while teammate Jamira Patterson (5-0) finished second.
Jacara Quinn (16-9½) and Yaritxza Rivera (111-7) both placed second for Shoemaker in the long jump and discus, respectively.
Shoemaker’s 400 relay quartet of Teddy Sparks, Tyriette Dixon, Ruthie Edwin and Rhodes (48.53) claimed gold, while Rhodes (25.93) also won the 200, and Jamie Eckfert (2:25.75) finished first in the 800.
With another victory as part of the 800 relay team, Rhodes finished the day with three gold and one bronze medal, emerging as the second-best athlete behind Pflugerville Hendrickson’s Megan Kirby.
Several other area athletes stood out at the meet.
Killeen distance runner Brittany Mitchell won gold in both the 1,600 (5:19.64) and the 3,200 (11:46.41), while defending state champion Tricia Williams, of Lometa, finished first in the shot put (43-9½) and discus (134-0).
Salado’s Taylor Atwood earned gold in the 400, posting a time of 1:01.30.
In the end, however, the Lady Knights trio of Bonnell, Jones and Parham were too much for the field to overcome, finishing sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the final individual point standings.
“Jones won the 100 for us today, and she has primarily been a 200 runner for us, but she ran a really good time today in the 100,” Womack said.
“That was the first time I’ve ever raced her in that event. Parham stepped us big for us too, finishing second in the 200 and she was the lead leg in the 4x200 and our anchor leg in the mile relay, producing a personal record.”
Saturday, Bulldawg Stadium, Copperas Cove
Long Jump—1, Megan Kirby, Pflugerville Hendrickson, 17-6. 2, Jacara Quinn, Shoemaker, 16-9½. 3, N.Williams, Ellison, 16-7.
High Jump—1, Jasmine Rhodes, Shoemaker, 5-2. 2, Jamira Patterson, Shoemaker, 5-0. 3, Megan Kirby, Hendrickson, 5-0.
Triple Jump—1, Vivian Walters, Harker Heights, 36-9. 2, Alexis Ridley, Harker Heights, 35-9. 3, Ciara Cheadle, Copperas Cove, 34-10.
Shot Put—1, Tricia Williams, Lometa, 43-9½. 2, Chyna Otis, Harker Heights, 40-6½. 3, Rachel Hildebrand, Salado, 38-11.
Discus—1, Tricia Williams, Lometa, 134-0. 2, Yaritxza Rivera, Shoemaker, 111-7. 3, Erin Rogers, Harker Heights, 111-3½.
Pole Vault—1, Heidi Alaniz, Temple, 9-6. 2, Averi Fischer, Salado, 9-6. 3, Maci Moore, San Angelo Central, 8-6.
100 meters—1, Jovanna Jones, Harker Heights, 12.26. 2, Tyriette Dixon, Shoemaker, 12.41. 3, Ruthie Edwin, Shoemaker, 12.63.
200—1, Jasmine Rhodes, Shoemaker, 25.93. 2, Corianna Parham, Harker Heights, 25.99. 3, Ciara Cheadle, Copperas Cove, 26.7.
400—1, Taylor Atwood, Salado, 1:01.30. 2, Meagan Mars, Hendrickson, 1:01.41. 3, Megan Kirby, Hendrickson, 1:01.92.
800—1, Jamie Eckfert, Shoemaker, 2:25.75. 2, Abbie Petter, Temple, 2:27.99. 3, Amber Boyd, Copperas Cove, 2:28.72.
1,600—1, Brittany Mitchell, Killeen, 5:19.64. 2, Lauren Reynnells, Harker Heights, 5:39.14. 3, Kristen Martin, Hendrickson, 5:41.98.
3,200—1, Brittany Mitchell, Killeen, 11:46.41. 2, Kristen Martin, Hendrickson, 12:35.95. 3, Ashley Adams, Salado, 12:38.92.
100 Hurdles—1, Teal Williams, Harker Heights, 15.54. 2, Jaleea Bonnell, Harker Heights, 15.58. 3, Sophia Flores, Central, 15.93.
300 Hurdles—1, Flores, Central, 48.53. 2, Genesis Reid, Killeen, 48.96. 3, Jaleea Bonnell, Harker Heights, 49.26.
400 Relay—1, Shoemaker, 48.53. 2, Harker Heights, 48.99. 3, Hendrickson, 49.61.
800 Relay—1, Hendrickson, 1:45.60. 2, Harker Heights, 1:45.61. 3, Shoemaker, 1:46.21.
1,600 Relay—1, Harker Heights, 4:11.18. 2, Hendrickson, 4:12.64. 3, Shoemaker, 4:13.55.
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com