TEMPLE — Since Ellison’s Christonna Jones started jumping last year, she’s used Shoemaker’s Aloysia Young as a standard.
When Young posted a Flight 1-best jump of 18-feet, 6 ¼ inches, Jones, who competed in Flight 2, had the mark to shoot for on her final preliminary jump.
“I knew I was going to have to die on the last one and eat some sand, as my coach says. I did that and it all worked out,” Jones said.
Young’s mark held up, but Jones finished second with her mark of 18-2 ¼.
“It pushed me further. I was like, ‘Oh, goodness, I’ve got competition, now. I’ve got to get out there and do what I’ve got to do and actually beat her,’” Young said. “I just knew, once I saw her bust out there and do what she needed to do, I knew I had to focus and do what I needed to do.”
Young’s teammate Teddriana Sparks finished third (17-6) and Waco Midway’s Natalie Poynter finished fourth (16-9 ¼). Neither Jones nor Young bettered their marks in the final round, but both listened intently when their distances were announced following each attempt.
“I was pretty nervous. You can never tell what she’s going to jump,” Young said. “She’s going to get out there and bust a 19 and then I have to try to compete with what she just jumped, so it was nerve-wracking to have her go before me and then me have to compete with her.”
Hicks’ journey to Austin starts
Since finishing second at the UIL state track meet last season, Shoemaker senior Cion Hicks has been working toward her return. The Baylor-signed thrower took her first step to her first state championship with a gold medal-winning throw of 46-4½ in the shot put, nearly seven feet farther than her closest competition and more than six inches better than her best mark this season.
“Everything gets you ready and prepared. And, now it’s settling into me that this is the road to the (state) championship,” Hicks said. “I’m just being relaxed and having fun. ... I still have that hunger and that fire to be at the top, so that’s pushing me as well. But, if you have the hunger and the fun and everything is coming together, support from your coaches and school and everybody else, it’s great.”
Hicks, who placed fourth in the shot put (44-5 1/4) and second in the discus (150) at the Texas Relays less than two weeks ago, has been tweaking her workouts to better prepare herself for competing at the college level next year and said she’s really starting to see the benefits, now.
“We’re doing different drills and different workouts to see how it works. Some stuff wasn’t and some stuff was, but that’s what you go through. Now I think I found what I need to be doing and it’s starting to pay off,” Hicks said.
Heights’ Crosby 3rd in pole vault
As Elizabeth Crosby popped up from the padded pit, the wide-eyed look on her face said it all. A gymnast most of her life, the Harker Heights senior pole vaulter struggled through her first several heights, clearing the bar only to have her body contort on the way down and knock it off. At least until she faced a height she’d never cleared before.
Crosby finished third in the girls pole vault with a school-record height of 10-6.
“I couldn’t even believe it, I was shocked,” said Crosby, whose previous personal best was 9-6. “That was crazy. That was definitely unexpected.”
Belton freshman Claire Woodson finished second, also going out at 10-6, but doing it with less misses along the way.
SHS’s Brewton third in triple jump
Davon Brewton wasn’t pressured, but the Shoemaker jumper was still fifth coming out of the triple jump preliminaries.
“The only thing I was working on was getting my knees up everytime, that was it,” Brewton said.
Brewton jumped 43-7½ on his second finals attempt, leap-frogging Ellison’s Isiah Cowan out of a top-four finish, and ensured himself another week of hard practice next week.
“What I jumped today was not my best jump. Last year, I jumped way farther but we’re going to fix it during practice,” Brewton said.
Cowan’s best jump was a 43-5 he posted in the prelims that had him sitting fourth going into the finals. But the Ellison senior finished fifth when he could top neither Brewton or Temple’s Clint Cole (43-5) on his final two attempts.