TIGERS SOAR

Rockdale boys back on top of district track heap
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor


Sophomore Gavin Young flew 14-feet in his only attempt at the height to capture the District 20-3A championship in the pole vault. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Sophomore Gavin Young flew 14-feet in his only attempt at the height to capture the District 20-3A championship in the pole vault. Reporter/Bill Martin JARRELL­— Not unlike their performance at the state track meet last year, the Rockdale Tigers can still do more with less.

Despite a small-scale roster, the talented Tigers took the first step (or jump) in defending their state crown by stockpiling points and claiming the 2017 District 20-3A track championship Wednesday at Cougar Field.

It was their first league crown since 2015 and fourth since 2010.

The Rockdale boys pulled away from Lexington for the win, 129 points to 110, with a surprising domination in the field events.

The Tigers nabbed first place hardware and piled up precious points in the long jump, triple jump, pole vault and discus to prove a perfect accompaniment to their state champion-caliber relay teams.

The Rockdale girls team was fifth behind first place Academy.

Clockwise from above, Quentin White uncorks a throw in the shotput competition. Top right, Devon Whitsel flies over the pit in the triple jump. Above right, Emma Mireles clears four-feet in th high jump for first place.Clockwise from above, Quentin White uncorks a throw in the shotput competition. Top right, Devon Whitsel flies over the pit in the triple jump. Above right, Emma Mireles clears four-feet in th high jump for first place.
The top four finishers will compete at the Region III area meet April 19 in Cameron.

Rockdale is sending 13 athletes to area.

“The team we have this year is special,” said first-year track coach Lewis Edmondson, “everyone knows what they have to do to get the job done. We didn’t even go into the district championship talking about winning it all. We told our guys to go out and compete and execute.

“These are by far the most competitive athletes I’ve ever coach and losing is just not an option with them. If you beat them you have to bring it all cause you’re in for a fight.”


Reporter photos/Bill Martin Reporter photos/Bill Martin Naturally, the Rockdale state champion 400- and 800-meter relay teams cruised to wins, consisting of Triston Ramos, Davion Ford, David Franklin and Jaqualyn Crawford.

The 400-meter squad sprinted to a 41.8 timing, just off the school record of 41.65 set at the state meet last year.

The 41.8 is the best time in the state in Class 3A this year according to Athletic.net which monitors Texas high school track.

The group turned in a 1:29.98 for the easy win in the 800.

There was an upset of sorts in the 100-meter dash as Cameron’s Davion Bynaum clipped Crawford at the wire 10.82 to 10.81 in a photo finish.

Crawford—who’s personal best is 10.53— is the reigning Class 3A 100-meter state champion.

Bynaum also held off Ramos and Ford to grab the 200-meter dash as well.

Ford was the district champion in the 200 last season.

Crawford took the long jump over teammate Ford, 21-10 1/2 to 21-3.

Ford—the district long jump champion in 2016— leapt to a measurement of 43-11 to top the triple jump list for the second straight year.

Ford’s best effort of the year is 46-4 at Giddings March 9 and is the best in the state in Class 3A.

The story of the day may have been Gavin Young, who soared to 14-0 in the pole vault, which is just six inches off the school record, set 42 years ago.

Young is aiming to become the first Tiger pole vaulter to earn a trip to the state track meet since Forrest Goss went in 1984.

Only three pole vaulters in Class 3A have gone higher than Young, led by Zach Bradford of Bloomington who has a best of 16-6.

Young outdistanced Dylan Dussetschle of Lexington, who went 12-feet- 6.

Tyler Lehmkuhl out-dueled 6-foot-5, 275-pound Casey Phillips of Franklin in the discus, 139-1 to 137-1 1/2 to claim the district title.

Baylor pledge Phillips easily captured the shot put crown.

On the girls side, Zharia Mercer doubled up with a win in the 100-meter dash and a second in the 200-meters.

Mercer beat out Za’kara Bryson of Cameron in the 100-meters, 12.83 to 13.08 for the Lady Tigers’ only running event victory.

She was second to Jarrell’s Destiny Fairley, 25.5 to 26.07.

Mercer also anchored the Rockdale 400-meter relay team to an area berth after placing second to Cameron in the slimmest of times—50.92 to 50.97.

Brandi Caffey flew to the district championship in the pole vault after turning in a jump of 8-foot-6.

Payton Miller qualified for area in the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles after finishing second and fourth respectively.

D-CHAMPS

400-meter-relay—Triston Ramos, Davion Ford, David Franklin, Jaqualyn Crawford

800-meter-relay—Triston Ramos, Davion Ford, Dylan David, Jaqualyn Crawford

Jaqualyn Crawford—long jump

Davion Ford—triple jump

Gavin Young—pole vault

Tyler Lehmkuhl—discus

Zharia Mercer—100-meter dash

Brandi Caf fey— pole vault


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