Written by Matt Wixon
Texas Relays: Arlington Bowie junior reaching new heights in high jump; DeSoto blazes in relays
AUSTIN — The opening height in Friday’s boys high jump competition was 6-1, well below what Natron Gipson can clear comfortably. But the Arlington Bowie junior didn’t pass on that round and wait for the bar to be raised at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
“I didn’t want to mess up,” he said.
Gipson didn’t mess up, and he didn’t miss a jump until he was the champion. After Gipson and Klein’s Steve Leonard cleared 6-8, only Gipson could clear the next height of 6-10 1/4. He did it cleanly on his first attempt to win on a gray but rain-free day at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
“Every time it’s overcast, I jump my best,” said Gipson, a lanky 6-3 junior. “I wanted it so bad today.”
Gipson, who cleared a personal-best 6-11 three weeks ago, had the bar set at 7-0 after he won the title. He missed all three attempts at that height but felt good afterward.
“I’m way ahead of where I wanted to be this year,” said Gipson, whose best height a year ago was 6-6.
DeSoto blazes in relays: The DeSoto boys, who won the 4x100 and 4x200 relays last year in Division II (for large schools), had the best time in Friday’s 4x200 qualifying. DeSoto’s team of Myron Turner, Alford Tribble, Kyle Collins and Ohio State football signee Dontre Wilson finished in 1:26.36.
DeSoto’s 4x400 team finished second in qualifying, just 15 hundredths of a second behind Houston Nimitz. Qualifying and finals for the 4x100 relays are Saturday.
Little Elm star set for 100: Little Elm’s Marika Brown has a chance to win the girls Division II 100 meters Saturday after finishing one hundredth of a second behind the top two times in Friday’s qualifying. The senior finished in 11.65 seconds, just behind Daye Shon Roberson of Houston Wheatley and Aaliyah Brown of Frankfort (Ill.) Lincoln-Way East.
Marika Brown was second in the 100 at last year’s Class 4A UIL meet, losing that final by two hundredths of a second.
Briefly: Hebron senior Rachel Jones finished second in the girls 1,600 with a time of 4:58.20. … The Kennedale girls 4x200 relay team’s time of 1:40.76 was more than two seconds faster than the rest of the field in Division I qualifying. … In the 4x200 girls Division II qualifying, the top four relay teams — St. Thomas Aquinas, Lincoln-Way East, Cedar Hill and Lancaster — were separated by less than four tenths of a second. … Celina’s boys 4x200 relay team, which finished second in qualifying for Division I, could’ve handed off a football instead of a baton. Receiver Ben Thiel led off and was followed by defensive back Cole Stallcup, quarterback Nathan Elliott and running back Deshawn Davis.
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