Track: Short-term memory fuels Kyle to victory

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, April 23, 2016
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Jessica Kyle used her short term memory to fuel her to a gold medal in the 1600 Wednesday at the 7/8-4A meet.

CHARGING AHEAD – Decatur’s Jessica Kyle sprints to the finish line to collect the gold medal in the 1600 at area. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

After Alvarado’s Hope Drury passed the Decatur senior to take gold in the 800, Kyle prevented a similar move in the next race. Kyle responded to a late rally by Godley’s Lily Kilcrease with a sprint over the final 100 to claim gold in 5:31.45.

“I was motivated from the 800,” Kyle said. “It was nice to come back from the 800 and win.”

Kyle stalked the leader from Alvarado, Aimee Molina, over the first three laps. She didn’t try to move ahead until the final 200 meters.

“I was making sure not to be the leader,” Kyle said. “I was pacing behind someone. I knew the first-place girl was losing some steam. I had a lot left at the end.”


The Decatur brothers Gunnar and Jhett Parker brought home medals in the 100 at the 7/8-4A meet.

Gunnar finished second to Kennedale’s Baron Browning with a 11.21.

Gunnar, who has been nursing a hamstring injury since the District 8-4A meet April 13, said he ran a conservative race.

“The first two steps I felt a little pressure,” he said. “I was glad I made enough to advance.”

Jhett was right behind Gunner, finishing in 11.25 for third.

“I thought I was going to catch him,” Jhett said. “I knew if I did, he wouldn’t like that.

“I’m excited about regionals. I’ve never been. It’ll be a good experience.”


As the second leg in the 4×200, Macy Downe made a hard charge toward the front.

Her efforts helped the Decatur team with Aly Skarky, Kallie Boner and Mallory Downe bring home second in the race in 1:48.37.

“My goal is to catch up with [the leaders],” Macy Downe said. “The first two legs are to catch up and the last two are to finish.”

The Lady Eagles’ 4×100 squad of Boner, the Downes and Cordelia Leija finished third in 51.07.

The Decatur 4×400 of Skarky, Katy Wunrow, Taylor Butler and Mackenzie Whitaker earned a region bid, taking fourth in 4:16.


On the final throw at the 8-4A meet, Springtown’s Wriley Russell leapfrogged Decatur’s Cole Stallard.

Stallard repaid the favor Wednesday at the 7/8-4A meet a few throws earlier. Stallard jumped past Russell with his fourth throw into first and held on for the gold medal. Stallard won with a toss of 140-2.

“It’s my first time at 140 in a meet,” Stallard said. “My footwork was good, and I had a little more momentum.”

Stallard said he will need to add 15 feet to give him a shot at state the Class 4A Region I meet April 29-30.

“I went up 20 feet last year. Hopefully, I can add 15,” he said.


After finishing second at district in the long jump, Decatur senior Dru Anderson brought home gold Wednesday at the 7/8-4A area meet.

Anderson hit the board and landed an effort of 21-0.75 on his sixth attempt to narrowly edge out Kennedale’s Devon Eubanks.

“I got a good mark this week. I haven’t been able to get a mark and got it today,” Anderson said. “My jumps kept getting better and better.”

He was the lone jumper to clear 21 feet.

“The air felt heavy and it was hard to jump,” Anderson said. “Everyone’s feet were sliding on the board. I pulled through.”


Jhett Parker found himself in an unfamiliar position Wednesday, running the anchor leg on the 4×100.

Parker took the stick after strong legs from Ryan Durdon, Dane Fitzgerald and Dru Anderson and brought home a third-place finish in 44.16.

Parker filled in for his brother, Gunnar, who ran only the 100 at the area meet to protect a sore hamstring.

“It’s only my second time running the 4×100 and first time as the anchor leg,” he said. “I was nervous to take Gunnar’s spot. It was great. I tried to catch them at the end. It’s exciting to head to Lubbock.”

The Decatur 4×200 squad of Alec Uselton, Fitzgerald, Anderson and Durdon took third in 1:32.49.

Durdon admitted the regional race was quite different than district, when he had a big lead for the anchor leg.

“I was just trying to keep up,” Durdon said.

“This week is all about trying to get to next weekend. That’s what we accomplished in both relays.”


Decatur freshman Mackenzie Whitaker cleared a new best in the high jump Wednesday to earn the silver medal.

Whitaker cleared 4-10 to earn a spot into the Class 4A Region I field in Lubbock April 29-30.

“It’s a blessing,” Whitaker said.

After clearing 4-10, Whitaker made an attempt at five feet.

“My calf clipped it or I would have got it,” Whitaker said.


Bridgeport freshman Kristen Grooms set a goal of making the Class 4A Region I meet at the beginning of the season.

She accomplished that goal Wednesday, finishing fourth in the 400 in 1:02.81.

She made a late charge to earn the final bid to regionals.

“My goal was to go to Lubbock in my first year,” she said. “I realized some girls were in front of me and went.”

Clearing Another Hurdle

CLEARING ANOTHER HURDLE – Decatur’s Caitlin Butler clears a hurdle in the 100 hurdles. She finished third in both events Wednesday at area. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


The day after helping the Decatur Lady Eagles softball team to the 8-4A title, Caitlin Butler continued a good week with bronze medals in the 100 and 300 hurdles.

Butler ran 16.53 in the 100 hurdles.

“My start wasn’t as strong [as district], but I did beat my time,” she said.

In the 300 hurdles, she dove at the finish line to take third in 49.56.

“I felt slow. Once I got to the end, I dove to finish,” Butler said. “It hurt, but I was determined to get a medal.”



Long jump: 4. Mallory Downe, Decatur, 15-6.25; 6. Kaetlyn Flavin, Bridgeport, 15-2.75

Pole vault: 7. Savannah Tuggle, Bridgeport, 7

High jump: 2. Mackenzie Whitaker, Decatur, 4-10; 8. Satasha Kostelecky, Decatur, 4-6

Triple jump: 5. Taylor Butler, Decatur, 33-1.75; 7. Kaetlyn Flavin, Bridgeport, 31-7.75

Shot put: 4. Madison Kyle, Decatur, 32-3.25

3200: 3. Georgina Palomo, Decatur, 12:17.55; 8. Elizabeth Culpepper, Decatur, 12:59.16

4×100: 3. Decatur (Kallie Boner, Macy Downe, Mallory Downe, Cordelia Leija), 51.07

800: 2. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 2:25.69; 7. Katy Wunrow, Decatur, 2:38.74

100 hurdles: 3. Caitlin Butler, Decatur, 16.53; 4. Morgen Davidson, Bridgeport, 16.88

100: 6. Macy Downe, Decatur, 13.12; 7. Kallie Boner, Decatur, 13.14

4×200: 2. Decatur (Aly Skarky, Macy Downe, Kallie Boner, Mallory Downe), 1:48.37; 5. Bridgeport (Jolene Torres, CheyAnne Weirich, Morgen Davidson, Allison Raby), 1:51.93

400: 4. Kristen Grooms, Bridgeport, 1:02.81; 6. Mackenzie Whitaker, Decatur, 1:05.48

300 hurdles: 3. Caitlin Butler, Decatur, 49.56; 5. Morgen Davidson, Bridgeport, 50.77

200: 5. Allison Raby, Bridgeport, 26.91; 6. Aly Skarky, Decatur, 27.96; 7. Cordelia Leija, Decatur, 28.75

1600: 1. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 5:31.45; 5. Georgina Palomo, Decatur, 5:42.89

4×400: 4. Decatur (Aly Skarky, Katy Wunrow, Taylor Butler, Mackenzie Whitaker), 4:16; 7. Bridgeport (Melanie Guzman, Jolene Torres, CheyAnne Weirich, Kristen Grooms), 4:27.31


Triple jump: 4. Efrain DeLuna, Bridgeport, 42-0.5; 5. Isaac Hacker, Decatur, 41-4.5; 6. Charles Williams, Bridgeport, 41

Shot put: 4. Shawn Wheat, Bridgeport, 45-1

High jump: 4. Dru Anderson, Decatur, 5-8; 6. Jacob Roberts, Bridgeport, 5-6

Pole vault: 5. Dustin Krahn, Decatur, 11

Long jump: 1. Dru Anderson, Decatur, 21-0.75; 6. Dane Fitzgerald, Decatur, 20-6.25; 8. Grayson Mathes, Bridgeport, 18-10.75

Discus: 1. Cole Stallard, Decatur, 140-2; 5. Charles Doubrava, Decatur, 129-5

3200: 3. Salvador Garcia, Bridgeport, 10:20.39; 4. Alan Rangel, Decatur, 10:23.66; 5. Manuel Garcia, Bridgeport, 10:24.65

4×100: 3. Decatur (Ryan Durdon, Dane Fitzgerald, Dru Anderson, Jhett Parker), 44.16; 7. Bridgeport (Abe Huerta, Efrain DeLuna, William Vann, Brian Munn), 45.2

800: 5. Christian Isaac, Decatur, 2:03.64; 7. Eric Aguilar, Bridgeport, 2:08.65; 8. Hunter Helm, Decatur, 2:16.55

110 hurdles: 3. Holden Hacker, Decatur, 16.72

100: 2. Gunnar Parker, Decatur, 11.21; 3. Jhett Parker, Decatur, 11.25; 8. Dru Anderson, Decatur, 11.87

4×200: 3. Decatur (Alec Uselton, Dane Fitzgerald, Dru Anderson, Gunnar Parker), 1:32.49; 7. Bridgeport (Casey Riggs, Steele Pena, Abe Huerta, William Vann), 1:36.07

200: 6. William Vann, Bridgeport, 23.26; 7. Dane Fitzgerald; 8. Alec Uselton, Decatur, 23.66

1600: 3. Parker Cullop, Decatur, 4:39.66; 4. Salvador Garcia, Bridgeport, 4:40.4; 6. Alan Rangel, Decatur, 4:43.72

4×400: 6. Decatur (Hunter Helm, Jhett Parker, Christian Isaac, Payton McAlister), 3:34.62

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