Relays brings out best in top athletes

By Dan Noxon / Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
Published 03-23-1997

The Jesuit-Sheaner Relays on Saturday presented some area teams and athletes their first opportunity this season to step up in competition.

Several took full advantage.

Greenville's Brandon Couts, the defending Class 4A 400-meter champion, and teammate Ashley Mayberry won the 400 and 100 meters, respectively, competing in the 5A Division. They also helped their team win the 400 relay.

Bishop Lynch's Nkosi Arnett caught Edwin Jones of Ennis in the final 10 meters to win the 100 in a strong 4A Division. He also anchored the Lynch 400 relay team that finished third despite two sub-par handoffs.

The 33rd Jesuit-Sheaner Relays, at Jesuit, attracted one of its strongest fields, particularly in the sprints and relays.

For Greenville and Lynch, in particular, stepping up a level in competition and succeeding was extremely satisfying.

Arnett, for example, is the defending TAPPS 100 champion, and Lynch has won the past two state titles in the 400 relay. Saturday, they faced some of the top Class 4A sprinters and relay teams.

"Even though we came in third, nobody's going to take us for granted, " Arnett said of his team's relay finish, which established a school record at 42.53. "It shows you don't have to be at a certain school or a certain classification to have talent."

Mayberry, who finished fourth in the 100 at state last year, gained a measure of satisfaction against some of the state's top Class 5A sprinters.

He edged Fort Worth Country Day's Amar Johnson for the victory in the 100 Saturday in a finals field that included Tyler John Tyler' s Eric Turner, Carter's Daryl Jones, Marshall's Greg Lawson and Odessa Permian's Jaquay Wilburn.

"It feels like sometimes we're overlooked as a small 4A school, " Mayberry said. "So when we come down here and beat these kind of people, it feels real good."

Couts, however, said he wasn't trying to prove anything Saturday. And he doesn't really need to.

Nobody's been close to him in the 400 this year, and he blew away the field Saturday, running a 47.36 to second-place (Jasper) Laboris Bean's 49.23.

"Right now, I'm just trying to push myself," he said. "I want the state record [45.1] this year."

Briefly . . .

Host Jesuit also enjoyed a great deal of success Saturday. The Rangers finished second in the 4A Division with 85 team points, including a sweep of the mile. Terrell won the 4A team title with 98 points, and Lancaster finished third with 74 points. Marshall won the 5A Division team title with 75 points, followed by Jasper (71), another Class 4A school that competed in the higher division, and Odessa (70). . . . Jesuit's Chris Lee, who won the mile, scored the most individual points in the 4A Division with 25. Jasper's Derrick Armstrong, who won the 110 meter hurdles, was tops in the 5A Division with 23 points.

© 1997 The Dallas Morning News All Rights Reserved

Dan Noxon / Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News, Relays brings out best in top athletes., 03-23-1997, pp 16B.