AUSTIN — Wolf Mahler improved his pole vault by two feet.
He ran the 47-second, 400-meter run he wanted.
It was not quite enough — not to win a medal.
The Belton senior, who signed with the University of Texas to be a decathlete, finished fourth in both the 5A boys pole vault and 400 run Saturday at the UIL State Track and Field Championships.
“I did not come here to be anything but thankful,” Mahler said. “This year is a success for me. I accomplished what I wanted to at the beginning of the season and came away with a little more.
“I am in good position for this summer to break a national record in the decathlon, and that is what I used this track season for.”
Mahler finished the 400 in 47.97, a second off the pace (46.80) set by gold-medal- winning DreVian Young of Houston Nimitz.
Mahler, who had qualified for five events in the area meet and nearly single-handedly won the District 8-5A title for Belton, was edged out for a spot on the medal stand on attempts in the pole vault, finishing fourth. He cleared 16 feet on his first attempt but had missed three times prior, including twice at 15-6. Paulo Benavides of El Paso Franklin had only missed once on his way to 16-0.
“It is just about being consistent and I was not really consistent,” Mahler said. “I had a few big jumps, but they were not at the right exact times. Timing is everything in pole vault.
“I have not been a 16-foot vaulter for very long. My (personal record) was 14 before this year. I am still getting used to things up that high.”
As a result, Mahler just missed a medal. Jay Roberson of Tyler Lee took home the gold medal, finishing with a height of 16-6. Amarillo Tascosa’s Noah Zorsky finished second (16-3).
Belton’s only other state qualifier, sophomore Emily Krenek finished ninth in the 5A girls 100 hurdles with a time of 14.47 seconds. Alaysh’A Johnson of Spring took home the gold medal (13.52).
Heights’ Houston places fourth in 5A long jump
Ramone Houston and his coaches were stunned.
The Harker Heights long jumper landed what would’ve likely been a medal-winning mark on his final attempt, but UIL officials managing the event measured his distance from a mark they said belonged to him. So Houston was left to settle for a fourth-place finish in the 5A boys long jump with a mark of 22 feet, 9¼ inches. Port Arthur Memorial’s Jammil Peeples won the event with a mark of 23-10½. Longview’s Cedric King finished second (23-0¾) and North Shore’s Jomal Wiltz finished third (22-10¼).
Killeen’s Farmer 7th in 300 hurdles
Only three competitors produced qualifying times faster than Bryant Farmer’s 37.55 for the 5A boys 300 hurdles.
The Killeen senior could not duplicate that time Saturday, finishing seventh with time of 39.12 seconds. Vince Castillo of Donna took home the gold medal with a time of 36.71.
Mize finishes 8th in 3A triple jump
Lampasas’ Julie Mize never seemed comfortable on the runway at the University of Texas.
The Lady Badgers senior finished eighth in 3A girls triple jump with a mark of 34-11½. Columbus’ Felicienne Axel won with her mark of 40-1½ and Waco Connally’s Khalaya Williams’ was second (40-0). Mize posted her best mark on her first attempt and then matched it on her final jump.
Lampasas’ Steven Jazdyk placed fifth in the 3A pole vault with a height of 14-0, a foot and a half behind Hunter Webb of China Spring, who won gold with a jump of 15-6.