By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
TEMPLE – Individually, Aliese Hyde struggled with A&M Consolidated. To a girl who's grown accustomed to first-placed finishes, Hyde fell second to A&M in the 400 and 800. But as the anchor of Harker Height's 1,600 relay team and with the Lady Knights down by a point to the Lady Tigers, Hyde found something a little special for the final 200 meters and gave Harker Heights its first district championship in five years on the second day of the 13-5A track meet at Temple High School's Wildcat Stadium.
"We always usually come in second. We had a really good team this year, they brought in some good coaches. I didn't want to lose it for them," Hyde said.
The Lady Knights trailed the seven-time defending champions until the 800 relay about halfway through the final night of running events and then held a comfortable lead until the Lady Tigers placed three in the top five of the 1,600 , led by Keri Wood – who beat Hyde in the 800. The Lady Tigers also grabbed third and fifth to give them a 127-126 advantage over the hopeful Lady Knights before the final relay.
But Heights and Ellison came out of the 1,600 relay strongly and led the field the entire way with Hyde and Ellison anchor Sharise Logwood running elbow-to-elbow for the first 200 meters when Hyde found the extra, go-ahead spurt leading the Lady Knights to a personal best time of 3 minutes and 56.34 seconds.
"All you can say is she's amazing," Harker Heights girls track coach Michelle Womack.
After the Lady Tigers took the lead late in the meet, Womack said that though she wasn't nervous, she had her concerns going into the final event.
"I was trying to stay calm," Womack said. "They were only ahead of us by one point and the relays give you double. I won't say I wasn't worried. I've seen dropped sticks and disqualifications, you never want to count on anything. I told the girls you've got to get the stick around the track."
The Lady Eagles, who started the second day in last place with just six points, finished fourth with 96 points, led by Logwood, who won the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 3 inches and placed second in the 100 (12.5) behind Consolidated's Whitney Harris, who dominated much of the sprints.
Harris placed second in the long jump (16-9) and first in the 400 (56-15) as the Lady Tigers finished second with 131 points after placing fifth in the mile relay.
"We weren't going for points, we're just trying to get as many girls to regionals as possible," Ellison girls track coach Halle Paauw said.
The Lady Eagles got a boost followed by a disappoitment followed by another boost after their 800 relay team placed second (1:44.25) but was disqualified for making an illegal handoff outside the zone. Paauw investigated the disqualification but the staff on-hand monitoring the event couldn't pinpoint the foul.
Ellison freshman Kehri Jones gave the Lady Eagles another boost by winning the 200 in front of A&M's Wilson with a time of 24.74.
"I knew she was behind me at the curve. I just had to run my curve, which is my weakest part of the race," Jones said. "She's (Wilson) a good competitor and I knew she was strong in the curves. She gave me a real fight."
The Shoemaker girls finished fifth with 62 points and picked up another regional qualifier when Skylie Hingle placed first in the shot put with a heave of 38-2 1/2. Ellison's Bobbie Williams, a state-qualifier in the discus last year, placed second with a toss of 37-11 1/4 to earn a place at the Class 5A Region II meet at Baylor's Hart-Patterson Track Complex in Waco on April 25-26.
The Bryan boys won the boys title with 148 points with Temple coming in second (129) and A&M following in third (90-5). Ellison finished fourth (82), Harker Heights fifth (52.5) and Shoemaker seventh (50).
Ellison was paced by Steven White, who finished out front in the 110 high hurdles (14.65) and nearly caught Temple favorite Tevin Reese in the 300. Reese finished first (37.97) with White breathing down his neck at 38.28.
"He caught me around the last turn," White said. "If I stayed with him at the curve, then I thought I could pass him."
Prezel Hardy won the 100 (10.53) in the stead of Temple standout Lache Seastrunk, who was favored in the event but was disqualified during the prelims.
Derrick Mays won the 200 for the Grey Wolves in 21.91 seconds.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.