Neither Kilgore’s Zoe Craven nor Sabine’s Kristen Stuart finished first in their events Friday at the University Interscholastic League’s state track and field meet.
But both were there – and thousands of others would’ve liked to have been.
Stuart, a senior, finished fifth in the Class 3A triple jump, ran midday Friday as a part of the state’s largest annual track and field event, on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin at Mike A. Meyers Stadium.
She had a distance of 36 feet, 6 ¼ inches. The winner, Leonard’s Natalie Simmons went over the 38 mark, the only one to do so: she had a distance of 38 feet, 1 ½ inches.
Before that, Friday morning in the Class 4A girls two-mile run, Craven took the course for her third state-level competition this year, almost unbelievable for a freshman.
Craven ran the two-mile in 12 minutes, 7.89 seconds, finishing eighth. The winner was senior Alia Henderson from Bandera in a time of 11 minutes, 21.79 seconds.
But, as Kilgore boys track coach Phillip Lane told Craven afterward, she’s got opportunities to get back and do better. Craven helped Kilgore’s girls cross-country team get to the state meet in the fall, then helped the Lady Bulldogs soccer team to a state-semifinal finish just weeks ago.
The state track schedule only had those two locals on the deck on Friday; all the other competitors from Kilgore High, and from Leverett’s Chapel, compete this afternoon.
KHS senior Jonathan Shepherd, an Oklahoma State University football signee, is back at the state track meet after winning a gold medal as a part of the 800 meter relay team a year ago. This year, he runs both the 100 meter and 200 meter dash for Kilgore. He’ll also be a leg of the 400 meter relay team, alongside A.J. Smith, Cameron Jackson, Greg Isaac, and alternates Josh Fletcher and Noah Odom.
The 4A 400 meter boys relay runs at noon. Shepherd runs the 100 meter dash at 1:05 p.m., and the 200 meter dash at 2:31.
Kilgore’s girls 800 meter relay team will run that event at 1:25 p.m. It’ll be some combination of Symonne Brooks, Maliyah Holland, Jamaria Thomas, Irelyn Williams, Carter Williams, Chicuquita Crain and Key’Deriana Roy.
Holland runs the 4A girls 200 meter dash at 2:25.
For Leverett’s Chapel, Yesenia Avalos runs in both the 1A girls 100 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles. She runs the 100 hurdles at 12:45, and the 300 at 2:05. And LC’s Grayson Bathke runs in the 1A boys 400 meter run at 1:45.
All times, of course, are dependent upon an on-time event.
See complete results from the locals in the state track meet online Saturday night at kilgorenewsherald.com, and coverage in Wednesday’s News Herald.