Written by Matt Wixon
DeSoto boys and girls teams miss UIL state titles, but medalists abound
AUSTIN — Two years ago, DeSoto pulled off the rare sweep of the Class 5A boys and girls titles at the UIL state track and field meet. Before Saturday’s competition began, it looked like the Eagles could come close to doing it again.
Instead, they didn’t get either title at Mike A. Myers Stadium. The girls team, which had won three straight titles, finished third. The boys team, trying to win its second title in three years, also finished third.
“We had some shining stars,” girls coach June Villers said. “We just didn’t quite do what we needed to do.”
The girls had 38 points, finishing behind Converse Judson (66) and Houston Cypress Springs (42). The boys finished with 34 points, trailing Humble Kingwood (39) and Klein Oak (38).
It was still a golden night for DeSoto, which won four events.
Junior Chevis Armstead won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.82 seconds, edging Allen’s Grant Finney (13.96). DeSoto’s boys 4x200 relay team of Trevin Chambers, Nick Orr, LaDarren Brown and London Dunn blew away the field with a time of 1:24.56.
The girls winners were sophomore Alexis Duncan in the 100 hurdles (13.39) and sophomore Kira White (11.66) in the 200. White won in a photo finish against Judson’s Talajah Murrell, who also finished in 11.66. White won by three thousandths of a second.
“I saw the girl next to me,” White said, “and I knew it was going to be decided by who ran through the end and the lean.”
The victories by Duncan and White, along with second-place finishes by Camry Grigsby (800 meters) and Latyria Jefferson (high jump), gave DeSoto 36 points. That put the Eagles in good position to match Houston Westbury’s four consecutive 5A titles from 1997 to 2000.
But although DeSoto qualified teams in all three relays, which have twice the point value of individual events, the girls finished eighth in the 4x100 and 4x200 and sixth in the 4x400. That gave the Eagles a total of two points in the events. Judson, by comparison, finished third in two relays and won another, giving it 44 points.
It’s hard to win without those relay points.
It’s also hard to win when one of your relays drops the baton in the area meet. That’s what happened to the DeSoto boys 4x100 team, which was one of the state’s best but didn’t get to show it Saturday.
“Without that 4x100 team, we came up a little bit short,” boys coach Donald Miller said. “But I was really proud of the guys. The ones that were here really competed. We just didn’t have enough.”
DeSoto will probably have more next year, considering its boys and girls teams are loaded with underclassmen.
As for this year?
“It’s just one of those years,” Miller said.
And still DeSoto is heading home with a big haul of medals.