Lots of athletes from the Kilgore area converged on Austin this weekend for the University Interscholastic League state track and field meet, and we even had a few top-five finishes.
The highest finish by local athletes was by Kilgore High School’s boys 400 meter relay, who finished second in the 4A event Saturday morning at the University of Texas at Austin’s Mike A. Myers Stadium.
It was an ultra-close finish, with Dallas Carter edging out Kilgore, barely. Carter was timed at 41.31 seconds, Kilgore at 41.43, just 12 hundredths of a second.
Jonathan Shepherd, A. J. Smith, Greg Isaac and Cameron Jackson ran the race for Kilgore; Josh Fletcher and Noah Odom were alternates.
Shepherd was also in solo action on Saturday, in both the 4A boys 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash. He was third in the 200 meter dash, finishing it in 21.33 seconds. The winner, Silsbee’s Kalon Barnes, finished in 20.55.
But Barnes had a more impressive feat Saturday.
Shep notched a fourth-place finish in the unbelievably-fast 100. He had a time of 10.59 seconds; all nine guys running in the finals had a sub-11-second time. The winner was Barnes in 10.05 seconds.
Barnes’ 10.05 seconds is now the new national high school record for the 100 meter dash. Incredibly, had Barnes been in the 2016 Rio Olympics, he would have been seventh, just 0.14 seconds out of a medal and just 0.23 seconds behind gold medalist and world-record-holder Usain Bolt. Barnes is a wide receiver and a Baylor signee.
Also for Kilgore on Saturday, Maliyah Holland finished fifth in the 4A girls 200 meter dash, and KHS girls 800 meter relay also finished fifth.
Holland had a time of 24.82 seconds; the winner, from Dallas Carter, finished in a time of 23.02 seconds.
Kilgore’s team of Holland, Irelyn Williams, Symonne Brooks and Jamaria Thomas also clocked in fifth in a time of 1 minute, 42.66 seconds in the 800 relay. The alternates were Carter Williams, Key’Deriana Roy and Chicuquita Crain.
Also on Saturday, Leverett’s Chapel’s Yesenia Avalos was to represent the Lions in both the 1A girls 100 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles.
She was eighth in the 100 meter, in a time of 17.33 seconds. The winner set a new record in the event for 1A, in a time of 15.67 seconds. That was Alexandra Hensley of Menard.
LC’s Grayson Bathke ran in the 1A boys 400 meter run, and finished sixth in a time of 52.58 seconds.
As the News Herald reported earlier today, Kilgore’s Zoe Craven and Sabine’s Kristen Stuart were both in action at UT on Friday.
Craven, just a freshman, finished eighth in the 4A girls two-mile run, her third time on the state stage this year (she had ran in the state cross-country meet and was on Kilgore’s girls soccer team that made the state tournament).
Stuart, a senior for Sabine, was fifth in the 3A girls triple jump.