AUSTIN — For most, it was their first trip to the state meet, but it does not have to be their last.
Salado’s girls and Lampasas’ boys each competed in the Class 4A 1,600-meter relay at the state meet Saturday afternoon, placing seventh and fourth, respectively.
While the outings are impressive, the feats are magnified due to the units’ experience or rather their lack thereof.
Neither team placed a senior on the track, but it had little effect on the Badgers, who posted a time of 3 minutes, 21.16 seconds thanks to juniors Thomas Cavalieri and Luke Palacios, sophomore Cameron Everts, who was second in the 300 hurdles, and freshman Ace Whitehead.
The quartet missed out on a medal by 2.54 seconds.
The Lady Eagles were in a similar situation with three sophomores comprising their 1,600 relay team. Taylor Rich, Elizabeth Ford and Samantha Vargas joined with junior Regina Deen to record a time of 4:03.06.
Additionally, neither team sent a senior as an alternate. For the Badgers, junior Brady Carroll and sophomore Lander Chisholm filled the roles, while the spots were occupied by a pair of freshmen in Jaci McGregor and Holly Wright for Salado.
Belton junior Kaylee Hausam will also be afforded another opportunity to reach the state meet after finishing seventh in the discus with a throw measuring 126 feet, 9 inches on her final attempt.
Everyone, however, is not so fortunate.
Harker Heights senior Adrese Atkins completed his career with the Knights by running the opening leg of the 1,600 relay, propelling his team to a fifth-place finish in 3:15.50.
The remainder of the quartet — juniors Shamel Allwood, Jalen Flowers and Caleb Brandon — is eligible to return, though.