ZEPHYR — Devin Williams earned a medal at the UIL Track and Field State Championships last year — the first for a Zephyr Bulldog — and John Ford Wall would like to add his name to the record books as well as the duo returns to Myers Stadium at the University of Texas this weekend.
Williams is the reigning silver medalist in the Class A boys discus, advancing from the Region III-A meet with a second-place effort of 167-11. Williams ranks third among all state qualifiers, with the top spot belonging to Tanner Hodgkins of Strawn (171-11).
“I want to go win it, get a gold medal,” Williams said. “It’s going to be pretty tough. I’m right there behind (Hodgkins) but I plan on beating him at state. I’ve improved a lot. I’ve been throwing 160 consistently. Last year I was in the 140s, 150s and hit 160 at state. This year I’ve been throwing over 160 almost every meet.”
With a state medal already to his credit, Williams isn’t feeling as much pressure heading into the event as some of the other local athletes competing in Austin this weekend.
“Since I’ve made it to state already I might as well enjoy it,” he said. “It’s going to be my last time to throw, and it’s a pretty good place to throw your last time.”
Williams takes great pride in being the first Zephyr male athlete to medal at the state track meet, and would like nothing more than to improve on that standing.
“I’ve been dreaming about getting first in state,” Williams said. “I’m the only guy who ever medaled at state from Zephyr, and I’m hoping this year I’ll get a gold medal and bring it back to Zephyr.”
The Class A boys discus is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday.
Wall would like to become the second Zephyr Bulldog with a state medal, as he returns to Austin in the 110-meter hurdles after placing second at the Region III-A meet with a personal record time of 16.07. Wall is looking to improve on last year’s eighth-place effort in Austin, and owns the seventh-best qualifying time. Iredell’s Morgan Whitfield (14.66) leads the way.
“It’s pretty amazing just to be able to go to state again,” Wall said. “Last year I was pretty nervous going in there not knowing what to expect or knowing what the track would feel like, but I have an idea of that now. Considering last year was my first time ever doing hurdles, I feel like I made a real big improvement from running all 17s last year. I just want to finish strong, get a high 14 time and medal.”
Regardless of where he places, Wall is satisfied knowing, “that I did everything I could to get where I am now, and knowing I’m going to do my best.”
The Class A boys 110-meter hurdles will begin at 6:40 p.m. Friday.