Five's high, but Lancaster boys feel slapped
No one prints T-shirts that say, "Fifth place in the state."
Courtney Jones, a star senior hurdler on the Lancaster boys track team, knows this all too well. He saw the posters in the halls and overheard the words of congratulation after the school's girls track team won a Class 4A state title last year.
The Lancaster boys had an outstanding 2001 season with that fifth-place performance. But Jones must look no further than the "State Champs" T-shirts worn by his female counterparts to find the motivation to change fifth to first.
"We go to track meets and people say, 'Where are the Lancaster girls at?'" Jones said. "It's not, 'Where are the Lancaster boys at?' "
Saturday offers another chance for the boys to make people start asking that question. Lancaster will compete in the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays, the prestigious all-boys meet that features some of the area's top teams. This might be Lancaster's year to top the team standings after three straight runner-up finishes.
Lancaster has already turned in some impressive team performances. It kicked off its season with a title against a tough field at the DeSoto Coca-Cola Classic. The only school to beat Lancaster this year is 5A Duncanville.
"We stopped going to meets we knew we could win," coach Greg Williams said. "We want to be challenged."
Matching Lancaster's depth and balance is a challenge for most teams. Jones, one of the top 110-meter hurdlers in the state, was the 4A runner-up last year.
Lancaster has three shot putters who have thrown more than 50 feet in junior Damone Shorten and seniors Larry Dibbles and Gerrell Golightly. Dibbles placed fourth at the state meet last season.
Lancaster's all-underclassmen team of junior David Radford and sophomores DeMarcus Williams, Tim King and Roderick Stewart is one of the state's best 4A 4x400 relays. And Stewart can score individual points at the state meet with his ability in the 200.
Top matchups at Jesuit-Sheaner Relays
The 1,600 meters will feature a strong field at Saturday's Jesuit-Sheaner Relays. Grapevine's Rob Morrow, Birdville's Derek Yorek, Jesuit's Tommy Colven and Euless Trinity's Luke Hargove have posted some of the area's top times.
The pole vault is scheduled to include 11 competitors who have cleared at least 13 feet. Jenks, Okla, brings two vaulters who have cleared 15 feet. Southlake Carroll sophomore Ty Barrington is one of the top local entries.
The sprints will match up two of the country's top runners in Forney's DaBryan Blanton and Shreveport (La.) Evangel's Jonathan Wade.