Neither Kilgore High School track team won the team title at the District 15-4A Track and Field Championships this week at Bullard ISD, but KHS will be well-represented at the area meet next Friday in Longview.
Jonathan Shepherd won the 100 meter dash, Melek Hamilton won the 200, and Kilgore’s 400 and 800 meter relay teams both came out on top for coach Phillip Lane’s Bulldogs.
Highlights for the Lady Bulldogs were Jamaria Thomas coming out on top in the triple jump, and a second-place finish in the 400 meter run; Symonne Brooks taking second in the 300 meter hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles; and the 400, 800, and mile relay teams getting second-place finishes.
The top four finishers in each event move on to the area meet, which will be at Spring Hill High School in Longview next Friday. Athletes who do well in area will move on to regionals; that’s at Texas A&M-Commerce on April 28-29. The state meet, naturally, is the ultimate goal, one that Kilgore regularly sends athletes to. That will be at the University of Texas in Austin on May 11-13.
Shepherd, who went to the state meet two years ago as a freshman as part of a mile relay team, won the 100 with a time of 11.32 seconds. Hamilton, who has had a lot of success this year in the 200, did so again, winning the district 200 meter dash in a time of 22.23 seconds.
The 400 meter relay team of Shep, Hamilton, Patrick Jackson and Cameron Jackson won that event in 42.39 seconds (alternates are Jeremy Lane and Terrell Shelton).
The 800 team of Patrick Jackson, Shep, Hamilton and Shelton took first (1 minute, 28.3 seconds, with Deiontrae Wheat and Cameron Jackson as alternates), and the mile relay team of Shelton, Lane, Wheat and Josh Fletcher finished third (3 minutes, 34.72 seconds).
Fletcher qualified for area in the 300 hurdles, making it in fourth place – Fletcher was running second when a competitor accidentally caused a hurdle to bump him and fall. That competitor was ultimately disqualified, and Fletcher was bumped up from fifth place to fourth.
Trystan Dobbs made area in the 800 meter run (2:09.50), and Braden Grush made it in the discus (a throw of 127 feet, 10 inches).
Also for the KHS boys, Wheat and Shelton each qualified for area in the triple jump (Wheat in second place with a total of 42 feet, 10 ¼ inches and Shelton at 42 feet, 6 ¼ inches).
Shelton also qualified in the high jump with a fourth-place finish (5 feet, 9 inches).
For coach Robert Cooley’s girls, Thomas won the long jump with a best of 16 feet, 5 ¼ inches.
Brooks’ second-place finish in the 300 hurdles came in 48.99 seconds. In the 100 hurdles, she was third in 16.59 seconds. Thomas also qualified in the 400 meter run (1:02.67).
The 400 meter relay team of Brooks, Thomas, Irelyn Williams and Maliyah Holland were second (49.21 seconds, with Rachel Clower as alternate), and also coming in second was the mile relay team of Olivia Chalk, Thomas, Ja’Da Abercrombie, and Mariyah Mitchell (4:23).
Incredibly, the 800 relay team also came in second – Clower, Williams, Holland and Mitchell (in 1:45.61), with Thomas and Brooks the alternates.
Williams qualified in the 100 meter dash, finishing fourth (13.25 seconds), and Brooks in the triple jump (finishing second in 35 feet, 2 ¾ inches). Mitchell made the cut in the TJ, as well, with a fourth-place finish (34 feet, ¼ inch).
KHS also has an area qualifier in the pole vault with Gracie Clower, who finished fourth with a jump of 8 feet, even.