Bobby Smith has been rolling of late.
The Killeen senior earned gold in shot put and discus in both the District 8-6A meet and the District 7/8-6A area meet, and he did the same on Friday and Saturday at the Region I-6A competition held at Maverick Stadium in Arlington.
On Friday, Smith hurled the shot put 61 feet, one-half inch, easily topping Cameron Cross, of San Angelo Central, in second place. Cross tallied a distance of 53-11¾.
“He was excited and he was pumped when he hit that 61,” Kangaroos head coach Greg Russell said. “He’s been in the high-50s for most of the year, but it was good to see him hit that 61-plus.”
There was no doubt Saturday.
Smith launched the discus 199-10 feet, shattering the previous regional record of 192-10 set by Abilene Cooper’s Jon Riddlehoover in 1996.
Smith went into the finals in second place, behind Lewisville Hebron’s John Romanow.
Romanow reached 183-6, while Smith’s longest throw at the time was 174-7.
But Smith registered the record-breaking throw on his first attempt in the finals, and he even added a toss of 192-3 on his last throw for good measure.
“He’s been throwing discus like this for the last two weeks,” Russell said. “Bobby does a real good job with throwing coach Mark Shifflett. They do a lot of things now where it’s not so much throwing, but breaking down his technique and watching a lot of video.
“Coach Shiflett does a good job of making corrections, and I know that’s really helped Bobby going into area and now regionals.”
The top two finishers in each event qualified for the state meet.
Also capturing gold Saturday was Copperas Cove’s Josh Canete, who leapt 6-6 in the high jump to capture the crown. It marked the second consecutive year Canete has qualified for state in the event.
“Any time you go into a competition where you have to advance, that’s your No. 1 goal,” Bulldawgs coach Keith Stifflemire said. “He was a favorite to advance, but with the weather the way it was, you never know. We had some high winds and you’ve got to go out there and compete, and he’s a competitor.
“He got up there and competed, and that got him the gold.”
Ellison’s Jayden Smith also punched his ticket to state Friday with a distance of 47-10 in the triple jump. Allen’s Gregory Chikaeze was first with a leap of 47-10½.
Smith was in third place going into his fifth jump, but he remained calm and got the job done.
“That was pretty clutch and pretty gutsy, to be able to jump like that,” Eagles head coach Derrick Levisay said. “He’s always been a competitor, since his freshman year. We recognized that pretty early.
“He takes himself seriously and is not out here to just stay in shape. He’s competing to win, and he’s been telling me since the start of the season he was going to state in triple jump. He made it happen.”
In running events, the Harker Heights boys 800-meter relay team of A.J. Pemberton, Shamel Allwood, Adrese Atkins and Mikel Stone captured silver Saturday with a time of 1 minute, 26.84 seconds.
The feat marked the eighth straight year the Knights have qualified at least one athlete for the state meet.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Harker Heights boys coach John Dulaney said. “They are running banged up right now and need some recovery. The area meet was tough on us.
“I feel like we have yet to run our best time, and we hope to at state. Shout-out to Jevon Wallace running on the relay yesterday and helping it qualify for the finals.”
Mansfield finished first in the 4x200 relay with a time of 1:26.55.
The Class 6A state meet is scheduled for May 11-13 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.