Decatur sweeps 9-4A meet, wins district titles

By Reece Waddell | Published Thursday, April 12, 2018.
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Running anchor in the 4×400, Triston Read anxiously awaited the handoff from teammate Christian Isaac. As Read took the baton, Decatur coach Landon Wren had a simple message.

“Go bring it home!” Wren yelled as Read bolted towards the first turn. Less than a minute later, Read was alone on the home stretch, darting towards the finish line. As he crossed it, Read was mobbed by his teammates. 

The comeback was complete.

The Eagles erased a 43-point deficit entering the final day of the 9-4A meet to claim the district title Thursday at Argyle, finishing with 191 points.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” Wren said. “Argyle is a worthy competitor. [Wednesday] didn’t go quite like we wanted it to. They got a big lead on us. I knew it was going to be tough today and everything had to go right for us. They were going to have to make a mistake or two, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Argyle was disqualified from the 4×200 relay, giving Decatur an opportunity to get back in the hunt. The Eagles took second in the race, trimming Argyle’s lead to just 13 points with five events left.

“I was waiting for them to make a mistake and that was the mistake we needed,” Wren said. “That was a 16-point swing. At that point, I felt like the tide had turned. I knew with what we had coming up, if our kids performed like they had all year, we would be in this position right now.

“They exceeded my expectations. I knew we had a chance, but to come storming back on day two like we did, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Decatur had a lead going into the 4×400 — the last event of the night — but needed to place fourth or better to secure the crown. Instead of making his team sweat it out, Read preserved the Eagles’ lead in the final leg of the race and even built on it. 

Decatur finished in 3:30.04, 2.35 seconds faster than second-place Sanger.

“I thought someone was right behind me,” Read said. “That’s why I started running faster. I couldn’t really feel my legs. Last year we were all pretty depressed and sad that we didn’t get first. Now that we’ve won, it’s pretty awesome.”

Lady Eagles win gold

Decatur capped a dominant performance at the 9-4A meet Thursday with its second gold medal in the relays, finishing first in the 4×400 with a 4:15.05.

But by that race, the Lady Eagles had already clinched the district title. Decatur ran away from the rest of the field and went into the last event of the night with a 78-point lead.

“We had a plan coming in, and the kids really wanted it. You could just tell,” said Decatur coach David Park. “We’ve talked about it all year. We ran here earlier in the year just so we could visualize things. I’m just proud of the kids. It’s the one sport that once the gun goes off, the coach is irrelevant. I’m just the most interested spectator.

“We took it one race at a time. It was a lot of fun.”

The Lady Eagles led for the majority of the meet despite a few mishaps on Wednesday. Senior Autumn Finney did not medal in either the long jump or triple jump. She was the defending district champion in the long jump and finished second in the triple jump last year. 

Finney did not qualify for the triple jump finals after scratching her three preliminary attempts and finished fourth in the long jump.

“[Wednesday] was awful,” Finney said. “It broke my heart.”

Finney bounced back on Thursday, winning the 200 and 400. She clocked a 26.13 in the 200 and a 1:01.86 in the 400. Finney also helped the 4×100 relay claim silver with a time of 51.07.

“Autumn after a shaky start came out today and dominated,” Park said.

Park said it took a total team effort to bring home the hardware.

“I could go down the line,” Park said. “It was just pretty darn special.”

Bridgeport takes third, fourth

Last season at the 9-4A meet, both the Bridgeport boys and girls teams finished last. The Bulls managed just 19 points and the Sissies tallied 40.

One year later, the boys more than quadrupled their score to medal as a team, taking third with 77 points. The girls more than doubled their score, finishing with 88 points. Both teams advanced to the area meet next Wednesday at Decatur. 

“Last year we scored like [19] points or something and we got to 77 this year. We’re pretty fired up about that jump,” said Bridgeport coach Bradan Ritchey. “It means a lot for the track program, but in the bigger picture is it means a lot for the athletic program as a whole. Things are really going in the right direction.”

Decatur, Bridgeport battle in 3,200

As Salvador Garcia and Gabe Embree made the final turn in the 3,200, the two were neck-and-neck. Entering the straightaway, Garcia put his head down and started to sprint. Embree shortly followed suit, trying desperately to catch him.

With a slightly longer stride, Garcia ultimately pulled away and finished first, claiming the district title Wednesday. Garcia clocked a 10:12.75 to win gold. Embree finished second, running a 10:13.14.

“The last lap I was trying to get in front of him so it would be harder to catch me on the last straightaway,” Garcia said. “Towards the last curve he passed me, and I was just thinking, ‘I’ve got to stay close to him so I can get him at the end.’ I ended up catching him easier than I thought I would.”

Davidson dominates relays

Bridgeport’s Morgen Davidson won the girls 100 hurdles and claimed silver in the 300 hurdles. She finished with times of 15.78 and 49.23, respectively.

“The cool thing about Morgen is she’s the biggest competitor I’ve seen at a track meet this year,” Ritchey said. “Last year in the area meet she fell down in the hurdles and didn’t advance to regionals, so she’s kind of used that as a motivator.”

Maddux dazzles in sprints

Following a fourth-place finish at the prestigious Texas Relays a few weeks ago, Jadon Maddux captured district titles in both the 100 and 200. 

The sophomore posted eye-popping times in both events. He clocked a 10.62 in the 100 and a 21.69 in the 200, tying a school record set by NFL player Collin Jones.

“It’s amazing,” Maddux said. “I’ve been working hard for it. I felt like I ran good and got out of the box good. It’s crazy. I get to just keep going and hopefully I’ll make it to state.”

Tuggle PRs in pole vault

Bridgeport’s Savannah Tuggle took home silver in the pole vault, posting a personal best of 8-6.

“It felt great,” Tuggle said. “I got it on the first try. I didn’t want it to be over today. Now that I get to move forward I’m really excited about it.”

Whitaker wins high jump

Mackenzie Whitaker attempted to break her personal best Wednesday in the high jump by clearing 5-5. Although she did not succeed, Whitaker still won the district title.

She won gold with a leap of 5-2. Teammate Makenzie Fox took silver with a jump of 5-0.

“To be able to come out on top means a lot,” Whitaker said. “You realize the hard work you put in pays off in the end.”

District 9-4A Full Boys Results
Team: 1. Decatur, 191; 2. Argyle, 164; 3. Bridgeport, 77; 4. Krum, 73; 5. Sanger, 52; 6. Gainesville, 25; 7. Frisco Lebanon Trail, 20
100: 1. Jadon Maddux, Bridgeport, 10.62; 3. Adam Martinez, Decatur, 11.92; 7. Jhett Parker, Decatur, 11.62; Michael Cole, Bridgeport, 11.69
200: 1. Jadon Maddux, Bridgeport, 21.69; 3. Riley Love, Decatur, 22.39; 4. Isaac Hacker, Decatur, 22.56; 7. Beau Bedford, Decatur, 23.26
400: 2. Triston Read, Decatur, 51.42; 4. Cameron Hale, Decatur, 52.52; 5. Christian Isaac, Decatur, 52.62
800: 1. Christian Isaac, Decatur, 2:01.20; 2. Triston Read, Decatur, 2:01.41; 5. Sergio Sanchez, Decatur, 2:03.20; 6. Manuel Garcia, Bridgeport, 2:06.63
1,600: 1. Salvador Garcia, Bridgeport, 4:40.46; 2. Sergio Sanchez, Decatur, 4:40.80; 3. Gabe Embree, Decatur, 4:41:09; 6. Alan Rangel, Decatur, 4:43.56
110 hurdles: 5. Holden Hacker, Decatur, 16.40; 6. Jared Allison, Decatur, 16.42
300 hurdles: 3. Jared Allison, Decatur, 42.25; 4. Holden Hacker, Decatur, 42.61
4×100: 1. Decatur, (Adam Martinez, Riley Love, Colton Denman, Jhett Parker), 42,88; 4. Bridgeport, (William Vann, Ty Read, Zane Morrow, Michael Cole), 44.78
4×200: 2. Decatur, (Alec Uselton, Beau Bedford, Adam Martinez, Jhett Parker), 1:32.27; 3. Bridgeport, (Michael Cole, Zane Morrow, William Vann, Ty Read), 1:35.81
4×400: 1. Decatur, (Christian Isaac, Marco Rodriguez, Cameron Hale, Triston Read), 3:30.04; 5. Bridgeport, (Jadon Maddux, Carson Johnson, Eric Aguilar, Nathaniel Phillips), 3:34.04
3,200: 1. Salvador Garcia, Bridgeport, 10:12.75; 2. Gabe Embree, Decatur, 10:13.14; 4. Alan Rangel, Decatur, 10:18.24; 6. Manuel Garcia, Bridgeport, 10:29.48
Long jump: 3. Isaac Hacker, Decatur, 20-11.5; 4. Braden Snow, Decatur, 20-9.75;
Triple jump: 1. Isaac Hacker, Decatur, 44-11.5; 5. Riley Love, Decatur, 39-7
High jump: 2. Blaze Ragland, Bridgeport, 6-3; 3. Isaac Hacker, Decatur, 5-10; 5. Jackson Carroll, Decatur, 5-10;
Pole vault: 4. Colton White, Decatur, 10-6; 5. Dustin Krahn, Decatur, 10-0
Shotput: 5. Caleb Jennings, Bridgeport, 42-3; 6. Eric Stonechek, Bridgeport, 41-9
Discus: 2. Charles Doubrava, Decatur, 139-2; 6. Morgan Picha, Decatur, 115-1

District 9-4A Full Girls Results

Team: 1. Decatur, 184; 2. Argyle, 94; 3. Sanger, 90; 4. Bridgeport, 88; 5. Frisco Lebanon Trail, 74; 6. Krum, 53; 7. Gainesville, 25;
100: 4. Macy Downe, Decatur, 13.02
200: 1. Autumn Finney, Decatur, 26.13; 2. Aly Starke, Decatur, 26.63; 5. Mackenzie Whitaker, Decatur, 27.29
400: 1. Autumn Finney, Decatur, 1:01.86; 3. Melanie Guzman, Bridgeport, 1:04.10; 5. Kristen Grooms, Bridgeport, 1:06.30
800: 5. Taylor Butler, Decatur, 2:37.17
1,600: 3. Taylor Butler, Decatur, 5:47.97; 4. Marisol Fraga, Bridgeport, 5:50.81; 5. Kayla Leal, Decatur, 5:51.07
100 hurdles: 1. Morgen Davidson, Bridgeport, 15.78; 4. Makenzie Fox, Decatur, 16.92; 5. Samantha Roth, Decatur, 17.28
300 hurdles: 2. Morgen Davidson, Bridgeport, 49.23; 3. Makenzie Fox, Decatur, 49.30; 4. Samantha Roth, Decatur, 49.46
4×100: 2. Decatur, (Autumn Finney, Kallie Boner, Mallory Downe, Macy Downe), 51.07; 4. Bridgeport, (Ashanti Monk, Reagan Hankins, Elizabeth Kranz, Anna Raby), 54.14
4×200: 1. Decatur, (Aly Starke, Mallory Downe, Macy Downe, Mackenzie Whitaker), 1:47.27; 5. Bridgeport, (Elizabeth Kranz, Reagan Hankins, Tiffany Wootton, Anna Raby), 1:54.71
4×400: 1. Decatur, (Makenzie Fox, Aly Starke, Mackenzie Whitaker, Samantha Roth), 4:15.05; 3. Bridgeport, (Lexine Stone, Breana Martinez, Kristen Grooms, Melanie Guzman), 4:22.53
3,200: 3. Marisol Fraga, Bridgeport, 12:45.36; 4. Kayla Leal, Decatur, 12:50.33
Long jump: 2. Mallory Downe, Decatur, 16-4; 4. Autumn Finney, Decatur, 15-7.25; 6. Macy Downe, Decatur, 15-5
Triple jump: 3. Makenzie Fox, Decatur, 32-7
High jump: 1. Mackenzie Whitaker, Decatur, 5-2; 2. Makenzie Fox, Decatur, 5-0;
Pole vault: 2. Savannah Tuggle, Bridgeport, 8-6
Shotput: 1. Makenna Gantt, Decatur, 37-8.5; 3. Madi Kyle, Decatur, 34-4.5; 4. Ashley Ingram, Bridgeport, 33-7
Discus: 1. Makenna Gantt, Decatur, 100-8; 2. Ashley Ingram, Bridgeport, 100-1; 6. Makenna Farrow, Bridgeport, 92-4

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