COPPERAS COVE Jahyda Reed may have finally conquered whatever kept the Shoemaker standout from clearing 5-feet-8-inches in the high jump for the first time since her sophomore year.
The senior simply relaxed, reminding a friend they should be enjoying the competition.
And it worked Reed defended her District 12-5A title in the high jump, hitting 5-8 on her second attempt. Reed actually went over 5-8 for the first time last weekend at a practice meet at Leo Buckley Stadium. She didn't miss a jump until 5-8, where she missed on her first attempt before making the second.
It's Reed's third straight district title, as she won the 13-5A crown in 2008 on the way to the Region II-5A title and fourth-place finish at the state meet.
After clearing 5-8, Reed's coaches played a mind game with her to see if she could clear 5-10. She was told the height was 5-9, but missed on three attempts to clear the mark.
"They've been tricking me lately," Reed said. "Last week I wanted to do 5-9 and they went 5-9 1/2. This meet I wanted to do 5-9 and they went to 5-10."
Regan Gilbert missed his first two pole vault attempts at 14 feet.
So he went lighter, picking up a 185-pound pole and putting down the 190-pound pole he used on his failed attempts.
It worked Gilbert cleared both 14-0 and 14-6, giving him district title over Belton's Kyle Rhoads (14-0).
"I guess I had some nerves going because it was bad technique," Gilbert said.
Gilbert then went back to the 190-pound pole, which he said "shoots you up more," and cleared 15-0. Once there, the junior tried for 15-9, which would have been a personal best. He tried with a 195-pound pole, but failed on two attempts.
"That's a man's pole," Gilbert said. "I just have to jump on it a little bit and kind of get used to it."
Ellison wasn't the only 800-meter relay team shuffling its lineup going into the district meet. Copperas Cove, who beat the Eagles twice to start the track season, listed six Bulldawgs on the heat sheet, while the other seven schools listed just the four who eventually ran the relay.
Brandon Hamilton, Kevin Coley, Orlando Thomas and William Randolph ran the relay, with Randolph holding off Ellison's Bryan Ojiyi, who filled in for the injured Prezel Hardy. Cove won the race with a time of 1:27.55, while Ellison finished in 1:28.05.
"We've been tweaking it all year," Cove head boys coach Keith Stifflemire said. "When we get to the regional track meet, we may do some more tweaking."
Cove finished second overall to Ellison, 165-137, but claimed the most first-place finishes with six. Roberto Camacho won the 300 hurdles (38.26), while Randolph won the 200 (21.73), this time holding off a pair of Eagles.
Graham won the 1,600, pulling away late from Ellison's Silvester Harrison to finish in 4:26.4. It was his second first place after winning the 3,200 Wednesday.
Five individuals claimed a pair of first-place finishers, while Harker Heights' Melissa Mays , who won both the long and triple jumps, picked up a third as the anchor on Heights' 1,600-meter relay.
Jahyda Reed of Shoemaker, in addition to winning the high jump, won the 300 hurdles (45.75) and finished second in the 100 hurdles (15.6).
Ellison's Bobbie Williamson easily won both the shot put and discus. Her throw of 41-2 in the shot put was nearly two feet farther than A&M Consolidated's Karla Gilbert's second-place throw. In the discus, Williamson (135-2 1/2) beat Shoemaker's Cion Hicks by roughly 12 feet.
Belton's Regan Tindell and Copperas Cove's Derwin Graham were also double winners, with both winning the 1,600 after taking the 3,200 Wednesday. Tindell, who won the 3,200 by nearly 26 seconds, won the mile by 12. Graham's second win wasn't as one sided, as he finished the 1,600 in 4:26.4, just ahead of Ellison's Silvester Harrison (4:27).