Battling against mostly Class 4A and 5A competition, the Brownwood Lady Lions and Lions put forth an effort that left head coach Don Hood with plenty of reasons to smile during the annual Bluebonnet Relays, which concluded Saturday afternoon at Gordon Wood Stadium.
Thanks to a strong finish, the Lady Lions placed second in the Class 3A-5A division, totaling 102 points. Brownwood trailed only Lubbock Coronado, which finished with 113 points. The Lady Lions placed ahead of Abilene Cooper (90), Midland Christian (85), Abilene Wylie (77), Temple (63), Mineral Wells (29), Lubbock Monterey (24), Joshua (23) and Graham (14).
On the boys side, the Lions tallied 67 points to place fourth, which left them behind champion Temple (142), runner-up Abilene Cooper (90) and third-place Lubbock Coronado (83). Finishing behind Brownwood were Abilene Wylie (30), Graham (23), Midland Christian (23), Mineral Wells (14), San Angelo Central (10) and Joshua (6).
“I was really pleased and thought we competed hard,” Hood said. “I was really proud, especially of the way the girls finished up. They scored about 58 points in the last four events which pulled us all the way up to second place.
“Even though our boys didn’t have their best track meet, they still ended up fourth and they beat some good teams. Not having some guys because of baseball, powerlifting and soccer and to still perform at the level we did, I’m very proud. I thought it was a good weekend.”
The Lady Lions earned eight medals, with half of those being gold.
Finishing first in their respective events were Lexie Lewis in the 100 meters (11.84), Victoria Henry in the shot put (39-5.5), Katy Jacobs in the 1600 meters (5:42.4) and the mile relay team (4:11.8).
Silver medals went to Lewis in the 200 meters (24.87), Sharday Melvin in the 300-meter hurdles (47.55) and Julianne Hood in the 1600 meters (5:42.6). Caroline Kirbo, in the pole vault (10-0), claimed the Lady Lions’ bronze medal.
Earning points with fourth-place efforts were Jacobs in the 3200 meters (12:22.0), Melvin in the long jump (15-5), Henry in the discus (114-11) and Hood in the 800 meters (2:31.7).
Coming in fifth were Melvin in the triple jump (31-9.25) and Victoria Hood in the 1600 meters (5:48.5) while Kim Ervin finished sixth in both the 100-meter hurdles (17.19) and long jump (15-1.75).
The Lions also collected eight medals, with three being gold.
Winning their events were Dylan Person in the 3200 meters (10:27.0), Cullen Ruth in the shot put (49.5) and Demarcus Whinery in the 110-meter hurdles (15.02).
Second-place efforts belonged to Ruth in the discus (128-7) and Person in the 1600 meters (4:53.5), while coming in third were Whinery in the 300-meter hurdles (41.31), Seth Owen in the high jump (6-0) and Ceth Hardy in the long jump (19-7.75).
Contributing points in fourth place was Matthew Gomez in the pole vault (12-6), while competitors placing fifth included Owen in the triple jump (40-6), Hayden Day in the discus (122-3), the 4x100 relay team (44.18) and the 4x200 relay team (1:32.59). Also, Adam Tipton finished sixth in the 800 meters (2:09.4).
“We’re taking some good momentum out of this,” said Hood, with the District 8-3A meet at Lampasas slated for April 10-11. “I feel pretty confident and I think the kids are a little more confident. Even though some of them didn’t have their best days, they still performed well. When you’re scoring points on off days, you’re doing something right.”
In the Class A-2A division, the Zephyr Bulldogs were third with 68 points, trailing Brady (227) and Junction (104). San Saba (42) was fourth and Richland Springs (35) came in fifth.
On the girls side, Zephyr placed sixth with 36 points as Brady (149.5) again took the top spot. San Saba placed third with 80.5 points and Santa Anna was eighth with 24 points.