Dragons, Lady Dragons both finish eighth
The final Bluebonnet Relays of the Don Hood coaching era at Brownwood High culminated with division championships for both the Lions and Lady Lions Saturday at Gordon Wood Stadium.
At the conclusion of the two-day event, the Lady Lions amassed 175 points in the Class 3A/4A girls division, easily outdistancing runner-up Wall’s total of 136 points. Meanwhile, on the boys side, the Lions generated 136 points, 17 clear of Wall (119) in the second-place spot.
“We had a great track meet, it was really fun,” said Hood, who will take over the LeTourneau University track and field program at the end of the school year. “What I was most pleased with is both the boys and girls came in expecting to win, or expecting to do well at least. It was the most confident group we’ve had in the time that I’ve been here. The girls felt they were supposed to win and when the guys figured out they had it locked up, it was a pretty good feeling for them because it was a good field with all the schools that were there. I was pleased with the way they handled the level of competition.”
The Lady Lions collected 17 medals as a team — two gold, 11 silver and four bronze.
Winning their respective events were Kyra Young, a state qualifier a year ago, in the 800 meters (2:24.14) and freshman Aleyia Cotton in the 400 meters (1:00.18).
Finishing as runners-up were Young in the 400 meters (1:01.73); Trinity Buitron in both the 100-meter hurdles (16.49) and pole vault (8-6), where she tied with teammate and 2016 state qualifier Kayla McFarden; Darby Crysler in both the 3200 meters (12:28.79) and 1600 meters (5:40.27); Jaycee Lenz in the long jump (16-6.5); Chyanne Ellett in the discus (111-2); the 4x100 relay (50.59); the 4x200 relay (1:51.69); and the 4x400 relay (4:14.43).
Coming in third were Buitron in the 300-meter hurdles (49.28), Alex Fowler in the 800 meters (2:29.25), Torrey Miller in the high jump (4-10) and Alexis Larrea in the discus (103-5).
Adding points in fourth place was Izzy Lawrence in both the 3200 meters (13:12.07) and 1600 meters (6:01.34), while fifth-place efforts belonged to Alyssa Couey in the 200 meters (28.36), Taylar Kinzler in the 800 meters (2:39.66), Lakyn Ratliff in the 100 meters (13:46), Caroline Cloy in the 100-meter hurdles (17.43) and Aleia Burkett in the shot put (29-9).
Placing sixth were Fowler in the 300-meter hurdles (50.25), Cloy in the triple jump (32-1) and Amy Compean in the 100-meter hurdles (17.59).
“What I saw that made me happiest is our good kids performed well,” Hood said. “It’s like we picked off from last year. We also have some freshmen that have stepped up, Darby Crysler had two huge PRs in the mile and two-mile, along with Trinity Buitron, Alyssa Couey, Aleyia Cotton and Aleia Burkett. We have a chance to have a really good team when you combine the freshmen with our upperclassmen.”
For the Lions, 10 medals were earned — six gold, one silver and three bronze.
Event winners included A.J. McCarty in both the long jump (22-4.25) and triple jump (43-11.5), Nick Salazar in the high jump (6-2), Patrick Nash in the 100 meters (11.45), the 4x100 relay team (44.24) and the 4x200 relay team (1:33.69).
Kirk Vickers picked up a silver medal in the triple jump (43-0.5) while bronze medals belonged to McCarty in the 400 meters (52.93), Paul David Quillin in the pole vault (13-6) and the 4x400 relay team (3:35.68).
Collecting fourth-place points were Vickers in the long jump (21-1.25), Jason Sanchez in the 800 meters (2:04.04), Xavier Armenta in the 300-meter hurdles (41.57), Tommy Bowden in the 110-meter hurdles (17.3) and Blaze Infinger in the discus (117-4).
Coming in fifth were Bowden in the 300-meter hurdles (43.44) and Armenta in the 110-meter hurdles (17.45).
“We had a pretty well-rounded effort on the guys’ side, one of the most complete team efforts we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Hood said. “We’ve got some basketball guys that are still a ways away from being where they need to be, but they still did a great job today — guys like Gavin and A.J., they just ran with a lot of heart. I also thought all three of our relays ran really well for where we’re at right now.”
The Bangs Dragons and Lady Dragons also took part in the Class 3A/4A divisions and in each team finished eighth.
The Dragons garnered 20 points as Trett Mitchell won the 300-meter hurdles (40.67), Kevin Sanchez was third in the 400 meters (53.4) and Colton Brewer in the triple jump (41-1.25) and the 4x400 relay both placed fifth.
The Lady Dragons tallied 9 points as Kenzie Baker was third in the shot put (32-5) while Kayleah Hall came in fifth in the 1600 meters (6:03.06) and sixth in the 800 meters (2:39.78).
In the Class A/2A/JV division, the Brownwood boys placed first with 110 points, 23 more than runner-up Abilene Cooper. Brownwood’s JV girls came in fourth place with 77 points, trailing Abilene Cooper (151), Lubbock Coronado (124) and Abilene Wylie (112).
Brownwood has a little more than a month to prepare for the District 5-4A Championships, with four meets scheduled before competing at Abilene Wylie April 10 and 12.
“We need to stay healthy and I’d like to see us continue to stay hungry,” Hood said of the objectives for the next month. “They need to realize there’s more than the Bluebonnet Relays and district, area and regionals are looming. We have to continue to get better to have a chance to get some kids to Austin. Going forward, I want our focus to be less on a district championship and more on getting a bunch of kids of Austin.”