AUSTIN — Shoemaker took home a bronze medal in the Class 6A boys 4x200-meter relay but still left the stadium disappointed at the UIL Track and Field State Championships on Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
In the starting blocks as the top seed with the best qualifying time of 1:25.30, the Grey Wolves quartet of Jaylen Caldwell, Omari Evans, Monaray Baldwin and Khamari Terrell made two trips around in 1:24.40 — almost a full second quicker than its regional time — but just behind champion Cedar Hill (1:23.99) and runner-up Cypress Ridge (1:24.27).
“We’re disappointed. We think we should’ve gotten first. We know we should’ve gotten first,” said Omari Evans, a junior who finished sixth in the long jump earlier in the day. “Cedar Hill got out (to a fast start), but we’d beaten them two times already. We didn’t get out, and it was working for (Cedar Hill) today.”
In the boys 4x100, Temple recorded its best time of the year but didn’t reach the podium, finishing sixth on a night when the top three teams were separated by 17 hundredths of a second.
Senior Carlton Mack, juniors Samari Howard and Tr’Darius Taylor and sophomore Mikal Harrison-Pilot handled all three baton exchanges smoothly, and Taylor crossed the finish line to complete the Wildcats’ time of 40.96 seconds.
The Temple foursome ran .34 seconds faster than it did while finishing second at the 6A Region II meet to punch its ticket to the state meet, but the Wildcats were outpaced on the orange oval Saturday by fifth-place Flower Mound Marcus (40.83), fourth-place North Crowley (40.78) and the three medalists that required a review to sort out the order.
Cedar Hill won the gold in 40.483, edging runner-up Katy Tompkins (40.49) and bronze medalist Alief Taylor (40.50) at the wire.
In the 6A boys 300 hurdles, Belton’s Noah Newman got off to a rough start and couldn’t recover. The junior hit the first hurdle and stumbled before regaining his balance and staying upright, but the damage had been done. He finished eighth in 38.85 — more than a half-second slower than his personal-best qualifying time from regionals. Richmond George Ranch’s Bryce McCray (36.27) won, followed onto the podium by Denzel Hinds (36.28) of San Antonio Health Careers and Cameron Boger (36.69) of Mesquite.
The day started for the area contingent in the sand pit, where Ellison senior Tre’jon Spiller finished fourth and Omari Evans was sixth in the 6A boys long jump.
Spiller’s best leap came on his fifth attempt that measured 23 feet, 7¾ inches — 7½ inches shorter than his winning effort at the 6A Region II meet two weeks ago. Evans went 23-1¼ on his fourth try to move up from seventh to sixth and remained there.
Austin Westlake sophomore Ashton Torns grabbed the lead on his initial attempt and never relinquished it, posting a top mark of 24-1¼ to win the gold medal by a quarter-inch over senior Jose Garcia of Harlingen. Katy Tompkins freshman Jayden Keys got the bronze at 23-11¾.
About 3 hours later, Killeen junior Tyquan Scoby was in contention for the bronze medal when his third attempt measured 47-11 and moved him into third place. He held his ground until Mesquite Horn senior Charles Demmings leaped 48-4½ in the fifth round, and Scoby had to settle for fourth.
Humble Atascocita senior Jaden Patterson, who was fourth in 2019, won the gold with a mark of 50-7 — his only measured jump of the afternoon. Klein Collins’ Donald Ray Lee got the silver at 49-3¼.
NOTES: Denton Guyer senior Brynn Brown became the first girl to break the 10-minute barrier in the 3,200 meters, winning the 6A race in 9:58.77 to break the 6A and overall state meet record she set in 2019 by 11 seconds. ... The announcer mistakenly announced a national record in the 6A boys 100 after Harlingen’s Jose Garcia clocked a 9.998 and Connor Washington of The Woodlands College Park finished in 9.999, but the wind was well above the allowable limit. ... Over the course of the three-day meet, Temple-Killeen area athletes took home 13 medals — five gold, four silver and four bronze — in addition to Cameron Yoe’s 3A girls team championship.