Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Despite missing out on individual golds, DeSoto girls score most dominant team title win yet
AUSTIN — A strong showing in the field events Saturday afternoon gave the DeSoto girls a jump on the competition at Mike A. Myers Stadium. In the evening track session, the state’s deepest track and field team showed that it didn’t need a head start.
Powered by medalist performances in six events, DeSoto rolled to its third straight Class 5A girls title with 71 points. Garland and League City Clear Springs tied for second with 36 apiece.
“It’s very important to win again, because throughout the year, we’ve been underestimated,” senior sprinter Makayla Earnheart said. “People have said that we’re deep but not fast enough.”
DeSoto was deep and fast Saturday as it won its fourth state title since 2007. The Eagles had won their previous three titles by no more than four points, but they had never scored more than 56 points in those state victories.
This year, DeSoto didn’t even need to compete in its final event of the night: the 4x400 relay.
“This year, we were finally able to enjoy the mile relay,” coach June Villers said. “It wasn’t total anxiety.”
DeSoto’s team of Camry Grigsby, Adria Parker, Shapporia Montgomery and Earnheart finished second in the 4x400 to cap a day in which DeSoto didn’t win an event but ran away with the team title. The Eagles’ dominance was built on versatility, which showed on a sunny afternoon that followed Friday night’s drenching rains.
“That’s the most points we’ve ever had after the field events,” Villers said.
Paetyn Revell was second in the triple jump, and Anna Robinson was second in the long jump, with a mark of 20 feet, 1 inch that was just behind champion Bre’Yana Wash of Skyline (20-13/4). DeSoto got more points in field events when Latyria Jefferson took third in the high jump and Adrienne Lewis fourth in the shot put.
That gave DeSoto 26 points heading into the running events, and it was the only team with entrants in all three relays: 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400. The 4x100 was the evening’s first track event, and DeSoto’s team of Telishia Johnson, Ja’Nice Griffin, Earnheart and anchor Kira White nearly won it.
The Eagles finished second to Garland in the event, but their team title was locked away. DeSoto added to its cushion with a third-place finish in the 4x200, finishing off a local 1-2-3 with champion Cedar Hill and runner-up Garland.
DeSoto couldn’t get to the top of the award stand as individuals, but as a team, it kept piling up points. Eventually DeSoto was on a peak nobody could reach.
“We just believe in ourselves,” Griffin said.
And they believe in the team — in a sport that is mostly about individuals.
“I’ll take being a deep team any time,” Villers said, “because we’re getting faster every week.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.