Celina and Melissa finished first and second, respectively, in both the girls and boys varsity team competition in District 11-4A's track and field meet at Jackie Hendrix Stadium in Princeton, April 12-13. Celina topped a strong showing by Melissa's girls, 166.5 to 146, and slipped by the charge from Melissa boys, 148 to 143.5. Anna's Lady Coyotes battled to a fourth-place finish and the boys were barely edged out by Princeton for fourth place, 91 to 89.
Strong individual performances by Anna and Melissa athletes were on display at the meet and are highlighted below. Each event's top-four finishers qualified for the area meet at Crandall High School on Thursday.
Melissa Lady Cardinals
“(On Thursday), the team concept would prove to be established as our girls hit several low points,” Lady Cardinals head coach Theodore Mackey III said. “We are so proud of the way our team came together after our sprint-relay lead-off leg and one of the region's top 200-meter sprinters were disqualified for false starting in the 100 relay and 200-meter dash. Our girls united and represented Team Melissa in a mighty way. This showed that our girls have a genuine love for their family of sisters. Nothing really compares to that. Winning and losing will occur. Our reactions tend to define who we really are, and for that we are grateful. Yes, we will move on to Area, but yes, we came together.”
In Wednesday events, senior Priscilla Adejokun claimed the gold medal with a shot-put throw of 43 feet, 6 inches, and a silver in the discus with a toss of 126 feet, 3.25 inches. Senior Karrington Lewis won gold in the 100-meter dash in time of 12.1 seconds, as Bryanna Hernandez claimed silver, finishing in 12.58 seconds. The 200 relay team of Hernandez, Lewis, Natalie Courtney and Ashanti Johnson won gold with a time of 1 minute, 44.1 seconds. Hernandez, Courtney, Gill Gray and Maddie Kane also claimed first place in the 4x400, finishing in a season-best 4 minutes, 4.23 seconds. Kane also took gold in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.17.
Gray grabbed more gold in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 58.01 and she captured silver in the triple jump with 35-foot, 1.5-inch effort. Gray also advanced to Area in the long jump, finishing fourth with a 15-foot, 2-inch leap. Junior pole vaulter Marisa Brunson earned a silver medal, clearing 8 feet, 6 inches, while freshman Lilly Rogers took the bronze with a personal-best vault of 8 feet.
Freshman Alison Kocsis claimed silver in the 1,600 meters — covering the mile in five minutes, 47 seconds — and a bronze in the 3,200 meters in 12 minutes, 59.02 seconds. Freshman Camille Bogdan earned a 3,200-meter sixth-place finish, coming in at 14 minutes, 58.21 seconds. Another freshman, Brenna Sheriff, grabbed a bronze medal in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 16.76. Erin Eichel took sixth place in the 400 meters and Sally Clemmons earned fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.
“My boys competed to the best of their ability,” Cardinals head coach Travis Roberson said. “Most of them jumped or ran their season-bests. That's what we're looking for this time of year. It was a great back-and-forth battle with Celina for the team title until the last race. I felt we were about a year away from winning the district championship back in February. We almost got it done this year. I will only graduate four seniors this year. They are all really big contributors for me but we've got some exceptional young kids coming that will have to fill their shoes. The future of the boys' track team is extremely bright.”
Senior Elijah Mackey led a 1-2-3 finish for Melissa in the 3,200 meters, finishing in a time of 9 minutes, 39.26 seconds. Jackson Scribner claimed silver with a time of 10 minutes, 20.7 seconds and Blake Chaloupka took the bronze in a personal-best time of 10 minutes, 21.1 seconds.
Mackey also claimed gold in the 1,600 meters in school-record time of 4 minutes, 24.58 seconds. Chaloupka took the bronze medal with a time of 4 minutes, 45.41 seconds and Scribner placed fourth, finishing in 4 minutes, 46.11 seconds. Cole McCraw earned double-gold, winning the triple-jump with a personal-best effort of 44 feet, 2.25 inches, and clearing 6 feet, 2 inches in the high jump to best that competition. Freshman Brendon Lewis took sixth in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 10 inches.
Senior Gunnar Murphy topped the shot-put field with a throw of 50 feet, 4.5 inches as junior teammate Cale Hayes claimed fourth in the event with a throw of 45 feet, 11 inches. In the discus event, Murphy won silver with a personal-best toss of 155 feet, 4 inches. In pole-vaulting, senior Gabe Rodriguez earned silver with a vault of 11 feet. He also placed fourth the long jump, clearing 20 feet. Freshman Ja'Bray Young took silver in the 200-meter dash in a season-best time of 22.78 seconds, and earned silver in the 100 meters as well, finishing in a season-best 11.02 seconds. Tarek Wallace earned sixth place finish in that race.
In relays, Marvin Jordan, Kennedy Lewis, McCraw and Young claimed silver in the 200 relay with a season-best time of 1 minute, 30.56 seconds. In the 400 relay, Matt Hahn, Brendon Landsford, McCraw and Lewis placed fourth with a time of 3 minutes, 33.39 seconds. Jason Baker, Wallace, Lewis and Jordan took fifth in the 100 relay with a season-best effort of 43.52 seconds.
Anna Lady Coyotes
“The Lady Coyote track team rose to the occasion at the district track meet en-route to qualifying for the area meet,” Anna head coach Hoot Jones said. “Raye Moran lowered her school 800-meter school record (and) Tamaya Tutson ran a strong effort, placing third in the 100 meters — but she exploded out of the blocks and ran like a woman possessed en route to winning the 200-meter dash. Moran came back for a strong effort to win the 1600-meter run, and Madison Hemenway continued her consistently dependable running to earn the bronze medal in the 1,600 and silver in the 3,200.”
He said Jazmin Pender also had a strong showing, finishing second in the 400 relay.
“(She was) behind only the three-time state-meet contestant Gill Gray of Melissa,” Jones said. “Abby Sanders also had a strong fifth-place in the 400, after showing great determination rehabbing from a stress fracture. The 1,600-meter relay team — Jazmin Pender, Jada Ramirez, Abby Sanders and Tamaya Tutson — put forth a super effort for a season-best 4:06.05 to finish second. The remainder of the team members competed very well also. The Area-qualifiers now focus their attention to the next task at hand.”
For her two gold medals, Moran bested the 800-meter field in a time of 2 minutes, 18.99 seconds. She finished first in the 1,600 meters with a time of 5 minutes, 26.7 seconds. Tutson's gold in the 200-meter dash came in 26.5 seconds. She placed third in the 100 meters with a time of 13.02. Hemenway's silver time in the 3,200 meters was 12 minutes, 25.75 seconds and her bronze in the 1,600 meters was won in 5 minutes, 49.86 seconds. Brooke Woodbury was a point-getter, finishing sixth in the 1,600 meters in a time of 6 minutes, 9.74 seconds.
Pender's second-place 400-meter dash time was 1 minute, 0.65 seconds and she, Tutson, Jada Ramirez and Abby Sanders teamed up to take second in the 400-meter relay with a time of 4 minutes, 6.05 seconds. Sanders also finished fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 1 minute, 1.8 seconds. The 100-relay team of Rachael Readus, Precious Antwi, Lakaria Hookfin and Jasmine Harper placed fifth in a time of 52.39. Hookfin, Antwi, Readus and Readus nabbed fifth as well in the 200 event, finishing in 1 minute, 50.63 seconds. Angelica Armijo placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles, coming in with a 17.57.
“I think we competed really well at the district meet,” Coyotes head coach Jeremy Patton said. “Most of the times we posted were our best ones of the year. … It was exciting to watch the relays run. We broke our (school) records that we set last week at Farmersville in the 100 and 200 relays. We also ran our best time of the year in the 400 relay by five seconds. That was a race to see, with (senior) Elijah Smith chasing down a Princeton runner who was about 50 meters ahead of him at one point. (Senior) Daunte Rose improved his throw in the shot put by another foot. He has come a long way and is getting better each week. Overall, we were very proud of the way the kids ran and competed. It's going to take a lot to advance out of Area on to Regionals, but we think we have what it takes. We are peaking at the right time and the guys believe that all the work they have put in will pay off.”
The Coyotes' 4x200-meter relay team of Smith, Keelan Crosby, Aaron Lee and Josh Abara took the gold medal in school-record time of 1 minute, 28.84 seconds. In the 100, Johnathan Venable, Crosby, Lee and Abara took second in a school-record 43.09 seconds. The 400 team of Crosby, Venable, Smith and Emmonte Davis claimed silver with a time of 3 minutes, 27.92 seconds.
Smith earned gold in the 400 meters, finishing in 49.3 seconds, and his triple jump effort of 43-foot, 10.5-inches claimed silver. Donald Maloid posted a sixth-place triple jump of 37 feet, 8 inches and he also took sixth in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 3.5 inches. Rose's silver-medal shot-put throw traveled 47 feet, 3 inches and junior Jacob Perez took sixth place in the discus event with a heave of 111 feet, 1 inch. Lee took fourth in the 200 meters with a time of 23.15 seconds.