Marshall High track coach Lloyd Banks prepares his runners to excel at Go Time, Banks’ term for big events.
There is no bigger Go Time than
the state championships, which were held in Austin May 11-12, and Banks’ runners were well prepared, as they won their third 5A state championship in four years.
The Marshall 4X400 meter relay team, composed of Devon Achane, Dominick Houston-Shepard, Korey King and Henry Thomas, placed first, the 4X200 meter relay team, Dalevon Campbell, King, Thomas and Achane, placed second, and the 4X100 meter relay team, Bryson Stubblefield, Achane, King and Sylvester Labome, also placed second.
In individual races, Marshall’s Shepard-Houston finished third in the 110-meter hurdles and Stubblefield finished fifth in the 100-meter dash.
The Marshall girls’ 4X100 meter relay team, Alexandria Ruth, Angel Johnson, Doneshia Johnson, and Payton Wells, finished third, while the 4X400 meter relay team, Ruth, Makenli Raspberry, Doneshia Johnson, and Wells, finished fourth.
Angel Johnson finished sixth in the 200-meter dash, and Wells finished seventh in the 400-meter dash.
Elkins High School had two athletes in the state championships, Robert Slaybaugh and Omonigho Oboh. Slaybaugh finished fifth in the shot put and eighth in the discus.
“Robert is an excellent student in the classroom and a phenomenal athlete to work with outside of school. He is very self-motivated and has an extreme desire to be great at whatever he puts his mind to. Much credit goes to Robert and my throwers coach, Alvin Dotson,” Elkins boys’ track coach Christopher M. Jones said. “Robert will be attending Trinity University next year.”
Oboh finished fifth in the girls’ 300-meter hurdles. “Omo finished fifth at the state meet after being district, area and regional champ. A trip to state this year was in question earlier this year when Omo injured her shin hurdling and was forced to wear a boot. She was unable to train and began doing workouts in the pool. Her track time was very limited. She did not have very many significant workouts until after the area meet.
“Omo showed unbelievable toughness every week just to compete. There were many times when we thought she would have to shut it down, but she pushed through it, and even set a personal record at the regional meet. The word for Omo this season was perseverance. Omo persevered to compete at the state meet, even though she had a goal to win just making it to state made her a winner,” Elkins
girls’ track coach Ben Still said. “She has signed to run track at Nicholls State and they got a steal.”
In 4A competition, Stafford finished second with 52 points to Dallas Carter’s 58 points. Stafford’s Kenneth Bodwin won two events, the 300-meter hurdles and the high jump. Bodwin was also on the 4X400 meter relay team, Sterling Riles, Tu’Shawn Wilson and Jaylon Hill, that finished in third place, and the 4X100 meter relay team, Wilson, Hill and Ryan Martin, that finished in fourth place. Martin finished second in the 100-meter dash and Riles finished fourth in the 400-meter dash.
In 6A competition, the Hightower girls’ team finished in fourth place. “Our goal was to finish in the top five. As a team knew we had to stay focused, and control what we can control. It was a total team effort,” Hightower girls’ track coach Joe Ayala said.
The Hurricanes’ 4X200 meter relay team, Sydney Dillard, Taylor Finley, Destini Lombard and Jyria Smith, finished in second place, and the 4X400 relay team, Jaiden Itson, Charisse Ursin, Smith and Lombard, finished in third place. Lombard also finished third in the long jump.
“Destini Lombard is a sophomore and in her first year as a long jumper, she finished third in the state,” Ayala said. “She is a tremendous athlete. She was all-district as a basketball player this season.”
Imari Chatman finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles, and Dillard finished seventh in the 200-meter dash.
“We are relentless workers and a selfless team,” Ayala said. “We work hard on the track and in the classroom. We have three seniors who will compete at the collegiate level next year. Jyria Smith will run for theUniversity of Houston, Sydney Dillard for the University of Oklahoma, and Taylor Finley for Northwestern State. Our underclasswomen are proud of them as they know how much work they put in to earn their scholarships.”
Travis’ Victoria Mathiew finished in third place in the 300-meter hurdles, Quonna Campbell finished fourth in the high jump, Lauren Clark finished ninth in the triple jump.
In the boys 6A competition, Travis’ Javontae Hopkins finished fifth in the triple jump.