The Track team competed in the 2019 district meet at Awty on Monday, April 15th with a great expectation of taking home their first district title since 2016. With the limit of three competitors per event, Coach Labus snuck in as many runners, jumpers, and throwers as he could. With new talent transferring from all over Houston and new freshmen, track is on a new wave, looking for their second state title in the last four years. The team finished with 254 points, sending 36 eagles to regional meet on Thursday, April 25th. The squad scored 105 more points than Concordia Lutheran that took second with 149 points.
The sprinter this season have faced adversity with injury, but when they have been healthy, they are a dominant group of upperclassmen. In the 100m, Ian Wheeler ‘19 and Hunter Cheek ‘19 took 1st and 2nd with times of 11.42 and 11.82 seconds. In the 400m, Snapper Pharr ‘21 took 3rd with 52.47s. In the 4x100m, Seniors Cheek, Dylan Dixon, Ian Wheeler, and Brandon Hondros took second with 43.83s. In the 4x200m, Lake Anderson ‘20, Hunter Cheek, Dylan Dixon, and Ian Wheeler took 3rd with a 1:34.36. In the 4x400m, Joseph Romero ‘22, Scott Pharr ‘21, Gus Boettcher ‘21, and Grayson Drinkard ‘20 took 2nd with a 3:33.94, as Romero got the handoff as the anchor, he passed two schools to punch their ticket to regionals. This was an outstanding showing of grit and speed for the sprinters to get one step closer to state.
For the distance crew, they are a younger squad with only one senior, Juan Vasquez. In the 800m, Juan Vasquez and Joseph Romero took 1st and 2nd with times of 2:01.78 and 2:03.30. In the mile, Juan Vasquez and Emilio Castaneda ‘21 battled for 1st and 3rd place with times of 4:37.96 and 4:40.57. In the two-mile, Nicholas Chandler ‘20 and Daniel Gerlach ‘21 took 3rd and 4th with times of 10:37.91 and 10:40.18. This has been the best showing of the longer distance guys in the past three years, and the scary part for other schools is that these guys will be back next year without the great Juan Vasquez.
“We expected to win districts by a lot,” Juan Vasquez ‘19. “We just had to get our [EXPLICIT] together and fulfill it.”
The hurdling crew has been a little small the past couple years, but this year, they looked like a really talented group of guys. In the 110m hurdles, Evan McGhee ‘19, Drake Martinez ‘21, and Carrick Brogan ‘22 took 1st, 3rd, and 4th with times of 16.45s, 16.70s, and 19.64s. In the 300m hurdles, Drake Martinez and Luke McClane ‘21 took 1st and 4th with times of 41.80s and 43.65s. The hurdlers showed out with 5 of their 6 competitors moving onto regionals.
The throwers have been dominant this whole season with medals in almost every meet they have competed in. In the shot put, Eli Carter ‘20, Max Garcia ‘20, and Cooper Thomas ‘20 took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with throws of 50-06, 45-04.5, and 45-02.25. In the discus, Eli Carter took 1st with a throw of 148-11. With 5 competitors total, 3 eagles are moving onto the next round.
The jumpers this season have had some success, but with the return of Peyton Matocha ‘19 and Luke Pane ‘20, the team looks to do even more damage. In the high jump, Peyton and Alex Rivero ‘20 took 1st and 2nd with jumps of 6-02 and 6-00. In the pole vault, Ian Wheeler and Luke Pane took 2nd and 4th with jumps of 12-06 and 9-06. In the long jump, Dylan Dixon took 2nd with a jump of 19-11.25. In the triple jump, Dylan took 1st with a jump of 39-06.75. The jumpers slipped a few guys into the regional meet, but they do have young talent for the years to come.
The track team has faced adversity with injury, but they have stuck together and worked hard for what they have become. These guys stuck after their events to cheer on their teammates, even with school work and personal things, they stuck around for every guy. With about 32 spots filled by eagles in the regional meet, they look to take top 3 in each event and be heavy favorites for the state meet.
“Everyone really wants to win,” Nick Chandler ‘20 said. “It’s a great environment of dedication and motivation because we all want to do something really special. Track is so great because it takes every single person doing their best to succeed and our genuine goals push us all.”