COPPERAS COVE Backfield mates on the gridiron, Orlando Thomas, Brandon Hamilton and William Randolph are translating their success in football into track and field.
The trio of Bulldawgs combined to win six gold medals to lead Cove to a landslide victory with 269 points at its own Meet of Champions on Saturday. Killeens 139 points gave the Roos a distant runner-up finish. Thomas, the starting quarterback for the Bulldawgs, led the way with three golds and a silver, including first in both the long jump (22 feet, 8¼ inches) and the 300-meter hurdles (38.91 seconds) along with anchoring the champion 400-meter relay (42.08) with Randolph, Hamilton and Jalen Gilbert assisting. Thomas took silver in the 110 hurdles (14.07).
Randolph, who signed with Texas A&M on a football scholarship, also ran the opening leg in leading the 800 relay (1:28.19) with Hamilton, Sean Harris and Mark Branch, as well as individually in the 100 dash with a personal-best time (10.78) that puts him among the states best. Hamilton took gold in the 200 (22.07) ahead of Shoemaker sophomore Johnny Jefferson, who also took second to Randolph in the 100.
Also winning multiple medals were Derwin Graham, who took first in the 1,600 (4:32.72) and 3,200 runs (9:50.18), and John Horton, who finished first in the triple jump with a school-record distance of 50-5.
On the girls side, Brittany Mitchell won both the 1,600 (5:28.35) and 3,200 runs (11:30.94) for two of Killeens five gold medals, but it wasnt enough to edge the host Lady Bulldawgs out of first place, finishing second with 132 points to Coves 148.
Also winning gold for the Lady Roos were Kayven Sambula in the 800 (2:25.15), Imari Simpson in the shot put (36-0.5) ahead of teammate Breeya Polk, and Dequise Robinson in the discus (112-1), while Tiare Dugger finished second in the 100 hurdles (16.06). Cove was led by its relays with first-place finishes by the 400 team of Kenya Williams, Tia Blackwell, Andrea Hurt and Alex Chace (50.23) and the 1,600 team of Tiaira West, Monique King, Briana Johnson and Keyawna Bonner (4:10.23).