By Jon Garrett
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE With all but three District 13-5A teams competing at the 10th annual Bulldawg Relays the Copperas Cove track team got a needed boost of confidence headed into the district meet next week, sweeping all three divisions (freshman, junior varsity, varsity) in convincing fashion.
The win was reminiscent of the defending district champions' three-tier victory at last year's district meet and head track coach Tracy Ranes is hoping that the momentum generated carries over.
"I'm very pleased with the outcome of the meet," he said, acknowledging the talent of the four other teams present at the meet along with those of Belton, Bryan and A&M Consolidated by adding, "There are eight teams that could win the (district) meet this year."
Cove's varsity, which split into "A" and "B" teams for the event, tallied 189 points on eight first-place finishes and a slew of other solid places in both the running and field events. Runner-up Killeen finished 56 points behind (133). Harker Heights (112) took third, Shoemaker (99) was fourth, Temple (52) fifth and the Dawgs' "B" squad came in last with 10 points.
While Cove stumbled in the 400-meter relays, one of its bread-and-butter events the past few years, dropping the baton between the third and fourth leg to finish way out of the top-three in an event won by Shoemaker's team of Chris Poullard, Brian Yarbrough, Jamaal Skipper and Daron Thomas in 42.52 seconds, the team rebounded with excellent showings in the distance events and a victory in the 800 relay.
"I was disappointed in our 4-by-100," Ranes said. "They dropped the stick, that's pretty uncommon for us. It's better it happened this week than next week though."
Chris Dunagan helped offset the point loss with first-place finishes in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs.
"It was pretty easy," said Dunagan, who has crossed the finish line first five times this season. He led his nearest competitor by several lengths coming down the stretch. "We had a little bit of wind coming around the curves but it felt pretty good on the back end."
Lawrence Coley, Donald Buckram, Jerrard Milsap and Diante Farley clocked in at 1:28.63 to defeat the same Shoemaker team that defeated them in the 400 in the 800, with the Grey Wolves posting a time of 1:29.71.
Other top finishers for the home squad were Coley in the 200 (22.49), freshman Robert Griffin (14.46) in the 110 hurdles, Donald Buckram (10.67) in the 100, Jeff Russell (39.68) in the 300 hurdles and Joeseph Leary (21-7) in the long jump.
James Tyson, Steven Smith, Andrew Gumbs and Quinton Reese were the gold-medal finishers for the second-place Roos. Tyson edged Cove's Roberto Davis for the shot-put crown with a throw of 52-8, Smith captured the high jump (6-4), Gumbs took the triple jump (46-) and Reese topped the pole vault (12).
In the JV division the Dawgs took the title with 258 total points. Shoemaker (103), Temple (82), Harker Heights (80) and Killeen (67) rounded out the finishers respectively. Cove's freshmen took gold with 169 points. Harker Heights was second with 134, Killeen third (101) and Temple fourth (78).
Contact Jon Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org