LONGVIEW, Texas – Liberty-Eylau track teams stole the spotlight at Thursday’s Region II-4A Area Track & Field Championships at Spring Hill High School.
Keeley won the triple jump (37-6 1/4), long jump (18-4 1/2) and set a school record in winning the high jump (5-8). Her teammates added another 174 points as the Lady Leopards humbled their opposition. Kilgore was second with 75 points.
Senior Isaiah Cross also produced a highlight reel in leading Liberty-Eylau’s to a team crown with 123 points to rally past Gilmer’s 115 total. The Leopards trailed Gilmer going into the 4×400 relay, and Cross got the Leopards an early lead. The won in a season-best 3:24.04, with the Buckeyes finishing fourth.
“I don’t have enough adjectives for these girls, they’ve worked so hard,” said L-E girls coach . “This is what happens when you show up and work hard, rain or shine. Everyone contributed today, and we’re extremely proud of all the girls. It was a total team effort.”
Lady Leopards took charge in field events
The Lady Leopards built a commanding lead in the field events. They were 1-2-3 in the triple jump with Kyla Coston second behind Keeley, whose twin Kayla finished third. Kurstyne Bailey and Skylier Bailey were third and fourth in the long jump, respectively. Coston was second in the high jump.
Sydney Nard took home the bronze medal in the shot put with a career-best throw of 35-10. McKenzye Williamson was third in the discus. Teammate Shakoya Aubrey also qualified for next week’s regional meet by placing fourth in the discus.
L-E also qualified three girls in the 100. Danielle Thomas won silver, Kurstyne Bailey bronze, and Laqukeisha Jeffery was fourth. Skylier Bailey was second in the 200, with Kurstyne third. Hurdler Taoni Reynolds advances in the 100 and 300 events with a pair of bronze medals. Chelsea Simmons will also be going to Commerce after placing fourth in the 300.
Breanna Webster joined Simmons, Jeffery and George to win gold in the 4×200 in 1:40.97. Second place was nearly five seconds behind. Webster, George and the two Bailey girls easily won the 4×400 in 4:02.74.
Pleasant Grove has two girls going to region. Jazmin Hever was fourth in the 400 (1:02.52). Rebecca Pickelman was fourth in the high jump (5-0).
L-E boys claim title in final event
“I believe the mile relay is the best race; if you’ve got a good mile relay you always have a chance,” said L-E boys coach David Daniels. “We’re capable of going a lot faster. We’ve got some young kids that are going to be good.”
If not for Cross, L-E’s boys would have started slow in the field. Keylon Watson finished second in the long jump with a leap of 21-2 3/4.
The Leopards’ charge started in the 4×100 when sophomore Tavieon Neal, Marzavin Riles, Shayne Porche and Korbyn White cruised to victory in 42.08. The same group survived a near-disastrous exchange to win the 4×200 in 1:29.55. Riles, Marquis Bailey and Neal joined Cross on the winning 4×400 relay.
L-E had regional qualifiers in five other events. White broke his own school record in the 100 (10.50), but had to settle for second place behind Kilgore junior Cameron Jackson. Bailey was third in the 800 (2:06.98). Porche was fourth in the 200 (22.77), with Talveyion Cooper fourth in the 1600 with a career-best time of 4:46.67. Jeavon Stewart was fourth in the 110 hurdles.
Pleasant Grove will also be represented at region. Linton Colvin finished strong in the 400 to win gold in 50.81.