Cedar Hill vaults to third with relay win

4x400 team wins final event with season-best time of 3:18.64

03:24 AM CST on Sunday, March 28, 2004

By BRANDON GEORGE / The Dallas Morning News

Josh Connor's eyes widened and his voice screeched with excitement as he told his coach at Cedar Hill about the placement of the school's 4x400 relay Saturday at the 40th Jesuit-Sheaner Relays.

Connor and three of his Cedar Hill teammates Jordan McCallen, Jason Richardson and Brad Dotson were thrilled when they learned they had run a season-best time of 3 minutes, 18.64 seconds, at Haggar Stadium to win the race by .09 seconds over a foursome from Jenks, Okla.

"We've been to state the last two years in the 4x400, and we just keep getting better," Connor said after anchoring the win. "The team did a really good job. We have a lot of potential."

The 4x400 victory to end the day pushed Cedar Hill into a third-place finish in the Class 5A division with 60 points. Jenks, Okla., won with 88.

DeSoto and Lancaster also had impressive showings, capping a standout day for Southwest Dallas schools. DeSoto finished second in the 5A division with 67 points, and Lancaster ran away with the Class 4A division championship with a score of 116.

"We've being doing really well," said Lancaster's Rodney Mims, who anchored a win in the 4x400 relay. "We're trying to get back to where we were last year, trying to win another state championship."

Lancaster was able to pile up the points despite not finishing the 4x100 relay earlier in the day after dropping the baton on one of the exchanges. Lancaster has the top time in each relay in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Richardson, Cedar Hill's elite hurdler, easily won both of the hurdles races in the 5A division. DeSoto sophomore Jason Guillory won the shot put with a personal-record throw of 58 feet, 6 inches.

Plano West's Bedell wins fast girls race

Plano West junior Erin Bedell, running unattached for the Metroplex Striders, passed Southlake Carroll's Brooke Upshaw 150 meters into the final lap of the girls 1,600 meters exhibition race before pulling away down the stretch for the win.

This was the first year that the meet has held the girls event. Bedell finished the race in 4:49.87, the fastest time in the state this year. Upshaw was second in 4:53.06, and South Grand Prairie's Krystal Rodriguez was third in 5:01.31. Each of the top three finishers turned in season-best performances as the entire field made the race one of the fastest 1,600s in recent history.

Briefly ...

The meet was delayed for about 35 minutes because of rain and lightning in the area. ... Most times were declared wind-aided. ... Southlake Carroll pole vaulter Ty Barrington and Arlington Bowie sprinter Ryan Palmer missed the meet because of injuries. ... Plano's Richard Crawford continued his impressive season, winning the long jump and finishing third in the 100 meters.


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