Dominique doubles down
Superman in this particular case being played by Dominique Messer.
Tryptophan be damned, after winning one gold medal, Messer gulped down said sandwich during a short break and then stepped out and grabbed gold again.
Capping an already glorious high school career, Messer captured two gold medals at the 102nd running of the UIL state track meet Saturday at Mike Myers Stadium in front of a crowd of 17, 214 fans.
The Milano senior earned firsts in the triple jump and the 400-meter dash for Class A boys.
Messer became the first Milano athlete to win two gold medals at one state meet. He was also the first Eagle male athlete to go gold since Cory Watkins won the 400-meter dash in 1996.
Neither the favorite, nor the top qualifier in either event, Messer surged to the forefront in both.
“We weren’t expecting it,” said Milano’s Wendy King, who specializes in the triple jump. “I think at the state meet, every athlete is just hoping for a medal. We just didn’t know. He was confident and he was ready.”
In the morning in the triple jump, Messer got progressively better on each subsequent jump, securing the lead on his second effort and posting his winning leap on his fourth attempt after scratching on his third. He measured 46-02.75, a career best by over a foot.
“After the second jump, I figured out I needed to step a few feet back on my takeoff,” Messer said. “I knew I was going to have to go 46 to win.”
Stamford’s James Washington, who owned the top qualifying jump, finished second at 45-10.
In the 400, Messer had the second-fastest time coming in at 49.47, behind Shiner’s Evel Jones’ 48.75 and ahead of Jake Bumguardner of Albany’s 49.64.
These three will forever be linked together.
Messer had the lead midway through the race, but was passed on the turn by Jones and Baumgardner who took turns in the lead.
Trailing by about 15 yards coming around the last curve, Messer revved up and used his 6-foot-4 frame to lean in at the tape ahead of Jones and Bumguardner in a photo finish by eight-hundreths of a second in front of a frenzied crowd.
While Messer’s name flashed on the scorboard as winning the race, judges still had to make it official.
He clocked in at 48.92, Jones was second at 49- f lat and Bumguardner—who won a silver medal in the 400 in 2012—had to settle for third this time around at 49.17.
“I had two fast people on both sides of me, so I thought to just stay with them was a good strategy,” Messer said. “I didn’t think I was in striking range. I honestly thought I was going to finish third but I pulled through.
“It feels good to make it to state in something. We haven’t been able to come in any other sport.
“I just do what I’m asked, try my best and I work hard in practice and I think it pays off.
“I didn’t expect to run a 48 today and I didn’t expect to jump a 46, but I did. I’m pretty surprised. I wasn’t expecting to come out with two golds today.”
Rockdale’s freshman sensation Dae Dae Robertson fell behind early and placed ninth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 47.09, her second-best clocking ever.
The 14-year old Robertson was just the fourth Rockdale freshman ever to compete at the state track meet and the first since 2003.
She broke the school record in the 300-meters two times during the 2013 track season.
Abigail Sheppard of Cuero successfully defended her title, blistering the track with a time of 42.99, just under the conference record by three-tenths of a second.