LIBERTY HILL — Midway through the District 8-3A track and field meet, the Brownwood Lions and Lady Lions have already qualified a dozen entries into next week’s area meet.
At the conclusion of Wednesday’s field events, Brownwood had earned district championships in four events, placed second in two more, came in third in three additional events and contributed a trio of fourth-place efforts.
As expected, Lady Lion Victoria Henry won both the girls discus (122-4) and shot put (39-9) titles. Meanwhile, Lexie Lewis captured the girls long jump (17-1) crown and Devante Stredic pulled off a stunner by earning the boys shot put (48-6.5) championship.
“Devante, in the shot put, came out of nowhere,” said Brownwood High track and field head coach Don Hood. “That’s a three-foot improvement for him. And Lexie, in the long jump, we knew it was there but it was nice to see her do what she’s capable of doing.”
Runner-up efforts belonged to Kristen Fuentes in the girls discus (104-4) and McKenzie Cox in the girls high jump (5-0). Finishing third were Trejouir Wilson in the girls triple jump (34-1.75), Hayden Day in the boys discus (132-1) and Matt Gomez in the boys pole vault (14-0). Also punching area tickets with fourth-place efforts were Ashley Gomez in the girls pole vault (9-6), McLane Moore in the boys pole vault (12-6) and Mackey Gibson in the boys discus (130-3).
“Trejouir in the triple jump was really big and I thought our pole vaulters did a great job,” Hood said. “Kristen had a PR (personal record) to get second in the discus and Alexis Larrea, a freshman, came through and got sixth. I thought from top to bottom there’s not hardly an event where we didn’t do well.”
Other Lions and Lady Lions who added points to their respective team’s tally were fifth-place performers Sharday Melvin in the girls long jump (16-5.5), Kayla McFarden in the girls pole vault (9-0) and Stredic (127-2) in the boys discus.
Placing sixth were Larrea in the girls discus (95-9) and Bryan Johnson in both the boys long jump (20-8) and boys triple jump (41-8.75).
In terms of the points race for the team district titles, the Lady Lions generated 61 Wednesday while the Lions garnered 29 points.
“I’m really excited for both teams and I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position,” Hood said. “I thought our kids came out and were really ready to compete. The pressure didn’t get to them and even though we were in a new facility, I thought we handled it just great. I thought we stepped up and did a great job today in every event.
“There were two or three little disappointments, but track and field at this level is about who messes up the least, at least to me. You’re going to have mess ups but you limit them as much as possible. If you have one go down, you have to have somebody step up and fill that void and in most events that happened.”
The top four in each event will advance to the 7-3A/8-3A area meet at Gordon Wood Stadium on Wednesday, April 16, and Hood expects more Lions and Lady Lions to be added to the mix at the conclusion of today’s running finals.
“I hope to see a lot of maroon on the track,” Hood said Wednesday afternoon prior to the start of the running preliminaries. “I told the kids the finals start today. They can’t hold back and expect to make the finals. If we’re ready to compete, and I think we are, then we should do pretty well.”
The running finals will begin at 5 p.m. today at Liberty Hill’s new football stadium off Highway 29 on the western edge of town.