Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Lancaster sweeps boys, girls Class 4A track titles; 'track is football to us'
AUSTIN — In a state with nearly 250 schools in Class 4A, it would be a surprise for one school to sweep the boys and girls track and field titles.
If, that is, the school was not Lancaster.
Lancaster won both titles Friday at the University Interscholastic League state meet. It was the fifth straight state title for the boys, the ninth overall title for the girls and the 12th straight year that at least one Lancaster team has won a championship.
It’s a pretty amazing run, but it’s no surprise. This is, after all, Lancaster’s Super Bowl.
“Track is football to us. There is that passion for it,” said Lancaster’s Tequille Jackson, who finished second in the boys 300 hurdles and third in the 110 hurdles. “Track is everything at Lancaster. We’re not just a big track school, we’re a big track community.”
It showed on a rainy night at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The Lancaster boys scored 63 points to hold off a strong push by Fort Worth Southwest (46). The Lancaster girls, who won their first state title in four years, passed Beaumont Ozen in the standings with a second-place finish in the night’s final event, the 4x400 relay. Lancaster finished with 73 points, Ozen had 58 and Carrollton Newman Smith was third with 40.
“We’ve been working hard all year,” said Tayler Sanders, who was part of the winning girls 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams, “and we thought this was the year.”
“The year when we get that ninth ring,” said Taije Jordan, who finished third in the 300 hurdles.
Lancaster did get its ninth ring, which follows the eight straight the girls won from 2001 to ’08. They did it by dominating in the relays, which are worth double the points of individual events. Jordan, Sanders, Ke’Andrea Wilson and Eboni Coby won the 4x100, and Sanders, Coby and Wilson teamed with A’Driana Berkhaulter to win the 4x200. Lancaster was second in the 4x400, giving it a total of 56 points on three relays.
The Lancaster boys also piled up most of their points in the relays, starting with a second-place finish in the 4x100. The team of Kedron Sowells, Reggie Hinson, Travian White and Demarquis Mims won the 4x200 in a 4A meet record of 1 minute, 24.89 seconds.
Combined with points scored in individual events by Jackson, White (fourth in the 200) and Devodney Thomas (sixth in the 110 hurdles), Lancaster didn’t even need to cross the finish line in its final event, the 4x400 relay.
Lancaster finished fourth in that event, and it finished the night on the top of the podium, surrounded by fans in the Tigers’ orange that was once again the dominant color on the first night of the state meet.
It’s the expectation in Lancaster, where the football stadium — perhaps it should be called the track stadium — is named after girls track coach Beverly Humphrey. She and boys coach Greg Williams have built powerhouse teams that are the pride of the city.
“We have something to live up to each year,” Wilson said.
And that something keeps getting bigger.