By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
With the wind picking up at 30 or 40 miles per hour, Salado track coach David Simmons began to worry.
The blustery conditions could throw his relay teams' steps off. It could mess up their exchanges.
But it didn't do any of that.
Salado won the Region IV-3A championship behind its strong relay teams and its throwers Saturday at Calallen High in Corpus Christi.
The Eagles finished with 82 points, just ahead of second-place Sweeny (75) and well ahead of third-place Lampasas (57). Salado's 400-meter relay team of Joe Owens, Reece Nicholson, Austin Silva and Peyton Best won region with a time of 42.94, beating out Sweeny (43.2) and Lampasas (43.28).
"They ran really well, the conditions were really rough. It was blowing so hard ... I was worried about the handoffs because it changes your steps. But, all the exchanges were perfect," Simmons said. "They were pumped and ready to go and they were pretty determined to win."
Owens also placed second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.41. Also advancing to state for the Eagles were Ryan Simmons and Robert Emrick. They took first and second in the shot put Friday and Simmons won the discus Saturday with a throw of 177 feet and Emrick took third (157-0).
"We placed second and third in the discus that third place would have won most 5A regions," David Simmons said. "(Robert) may get out as a wild card because that was a pretty good throw."
Also contributing to the team effort was Alex Cooke, who probably won't make state, but finished third and fourth in the 3,200 and 1,600, respectively.
"Everybody that went contributed to the whole effort and the throwers just really did awesome," said David Simmons.
"It is pretty awesome. We had several kids that were right there that we thought might make it. Cooke barely missed it."
Lampasas was on Salado's heels for much of the meet.
Marcus Kehoe won the pole vault to advance to state, Zach Adams placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles and Steven Jazdyk was fifth in the 100-meter dash. Lampasas also finished third in the 800 relay.
The Lady Eagles only finished ninth at the meet with 25 points, but 16 of those came from one runner - Ashley Adams.
Adams placed second and advanced to state in both the 3,200 and 1,600 with times of 11:57.31 and 5:26.63 respectively.
Rachel Lea placed fifth (15.00) in the 100-meter hurdles for Salado, well behind Abigail Sheppard of Cuero (14.50) and Lampasas sophomore Catherine Bloomfield (14.56), who makes it to state for the second straight year.
Roos' Warren waiting again
John Warren is looking to be a wild card spoiler again.
The Killeen freshman placed third in the triple jump Saturday at Region I-4A meet for the second straight year. Last year, he earned a wild card state qualification and finished second at the 4A state meet.
Warren barely made the finals, coming in as the fifth-place qualifier but leapt 48 feet, ¾ inches on his next-to-last attempt to finish third.
As a freshman, Warren jumped 47-6 and finished third at the region meet, which was the best non-qualifying distance in the state. The top two finishers from each event automatically qualify for the state meet. But, beginning last year, the UIL has allowed a single third-place finisher to compete at the state meet.
The Roos' only sure-fire state qualifier from Saturday is Bria McIver, who took second in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.60, ahead of teammate Tiare Dugger, who placed fifth (14.89). High jumper Victor Glaze qualified for the state meet Friday.
Sophomore Brittany Mitchell placed fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 5:20.20.
Hornets' Meaders vaults to state
Nicholas Meaders will be the only Gatesville representative at the state meet May 13-14.
Meaders won the pole vault at the Region III-3A meet at Humble's Turner Stadium on Friday, clearing 14-6 and edging out Fairfield's Jay Roberson, who also made 14-6.
Saturday, Colton Williams placed ninth in the boys discus with a throw of 133-11 and Jordan Klossner took ninth in the boys 1,600 (4:50.23), while John Austin Moreno finished 19th (5:09.89).
Friday, the Hornets' 1,600-meter relay just missed out on reaching Saturday's finals, finishing ninth overall and third in its heat. Cole Edmiston, Andraque Jones, Tyler Jaynes and Jake Kee finished in 3:29.21.
On the girls side, Gatesville's 400 relay also finished ninth overall. Daija Ward, Mandy Henson, De'Jaria Cross and Robbie Clark ran a 50.80, placing third in their heat. Sarah Latham ran a 1:02.6 in the 400, finishing fourth in her heat and 10th overall.
Saturday, Sally McLeod finished 15th in the girls shot put, finishing with a distance of 30-8½ and Alissa Gonzalez finished ninth in the girls 1,600 posting a time of (5:51.58).