STEPHENVILLE — The defending District 6-4A track and field champion Brownwood Lady Lions find themselves in the driver’s seat to repeat, while the Lions — while easily within striking distance — will have to come from the back of the pack if they intend to hoist a trophy Wednesday.
The first day of the 6-4A meet wrapped up Monday at Lem Brock Field, where the Lady Lions amassed 56 points in just four events. The Brownwood girls own a 32-point cushion over host Stephenville (24 points) and a 35-point edge over third-place Abilene Wylie (21).
“That’s a pretty good return,” said Brownwood track and field head coach Don Hood of the Lady Lions’ 14-point average per event. “I was hoping for about 50 to 55 points and we outperformed what I thought we’d do. We had a ton of good things happen.”
On the boys side, the Lions generated 19 points which trails Graham (43.5), Abilene Wylie (39.5), Mineral Wells (29) and Stephenville (24). To put the position of the Brownwood boys into perspective, despite being in fifth place after five events the Lions are still closer to the lead than the Lady Lions’ nearest competitor.
“I thought we’d score about 15 today, so that’s not bad,” Hood said. “These weren’t our best events. But we’re within striking range and we’ve qualified people who can step up, so I’m really excited to see what we can do.”
As for the running preliminaries, which capped Monday’s action, almost every Brownwood entry advanced to the finals.
“We had a great day,” Hood said. “About 99 percent qualified for the finals. Some of them are sixth, seventh and eighth, but at least we’re in there and have a fighting chance to score some points. I was really pleased with the way they competed and a lot of kids stepped up and had personal or seasonal bests, and it wasn’t a great day to run with that cross wind.”
For the Lady Lions, one district championship, seven medals and eight area berths were clinched Monday.
Kristen Fuentes captured the 6-4A girls discus championship for the second year in a row with a best effort of 107-10. Finishing as runners-up were Kayla McFarden in the pole vault (10-6) and Izzy Lawrence in the 3,200 meters (12:46.1).
Collecting bronze medals were Ashley Gomez in the pole vault (9-0), McKenzie Cox in the triple jump (16-5.5), Alexis Larrea in the discus (102-9) and Audrey Boren in the 3,200 meters (12:55.1).
Chyanne Ellett secured an area berth as she was fourth in the discus (101-11) while Tori Burkett came in fifth in the 3,200 meters (13:10.5)
“We had a couple of surprises with Audrey Boren in the two-mile, who came up from the JV and ended up getting third,” Hood said. “McKenzie Cox in the long jump had a personal best and pulled some points for us. Ashley Gomez, on her third attempt cleared nine feet to move up to third in the pole vault. Kayla McFarden had a personnel best by over a foot in the pole vault to get second. Kristen Fuentes in the discus won for the second year in a row in a really tight competition. Six or seven feet separated the top six and to have three qualify out of that is just fantastic.”
The Lions collected a pair of medals Monday and punched area tickets for three competitors.
McLane Moore, with a personal best in the pole vault (14-0), and Nick Salazar, in the high jump (5-10), both finished third while Paul David Quillin, who was fourth in the pole vault (12-6), also wrapped up an area berth.
Hayden Day placed fifth in the shot put (43-7.5) while Grayson Swanzy added a sixth-place effort in the triple jump (19-11.75) to add precious points to the Lions’ tally.
Just 24.5 points off the lead, Hood is eager to see what the Lions can accomplish Wednesday in the events that are their strength this season.
“The triple jump, the discus, and we qualified a lot for that finals, so we should be able to do some good things,” Hood said. “In the 100, 200, 400, the relays, the 800, those should be really strong events for us. We have a chance to make up a lot of ground real fast.”
The meet resumes at noon Wednesday with the remainder of the field events, followed by the running finals. The top four finishers in each event advance to the 5-4A/6-4A area meet in Mineral Wells on April 21.