After finishing second in the Area Meet and seeing the times of the other teams that would be competing in the 1600-Meter Relay at the Class 3A Region 1 Track & Field Meet, members of the Lions relay team knew they had their work cut out for them if they wanted to earn a trip to the 3A State Meet in Austin.
The quartet of Ty Scott, Kameron Plyler, Julius Dawkins and Jackson Aydelott proved to be up to the task. They posted their fastest time of the year 3-minutes, 20.33-seconds to claim the gold medal at regionals. The Lions needed that fast time too, as less than 1 second separated first place from fourth place. Crane finished second just .32 of a second behind Vernon, while Breckenridge was third .82 of a second behind the Lions.
“I’m very excited about going to the state meet,” said Julius, a junior who will be making his first trip to the state meet.
Ty, a freshman, and Jackson, a sophomore, will also be making their first trip to the state meet, while junior Kameron is a state meet veteran, having qualified last year in the high jump. He finished third at regionals and just missed advancing in the high jump this year.
“I’m not disappointed at all about not making it in the high jump,” Kameron said. “There’s a different type of motivation this year. Last year going in the high jump I was just doing it for me, but this year I’m doing it for me and them too,” he added as he nodded his head toward his teammates.
The quartet make up a tight knit group despite the fact that Ty started out running on the junior varsity team and didn’t join the relay team until the fifth meet of the season.
“I just wanted to come up and do my part,” he responded when asked his thoughts when moved from the JV to varsity.
At that meet in Childress, the relay team had a time of 3-minutes, 30.18-seconds, and they’ve been dropping seconds off that time ever since.
“We can definitely shave more off of our regional time,” Kameron said. “We all believe that.”
In that regional final, the Lions were fifth after the first leg and Kameron was able to get them into third before handing the baton off to Julius. He maintained third while eating up distance and getting closer to second before passing the baton to Jackson for the anchor leg.
“When I handed the stick to him I had no doubt we were going to win,” Julius said.
“We trust him,” Kameron said of Jackson.
Seeing those competitors in front of him just motivated Jackson.
“When I see people ahead of me I just kind of take it to a whole different place and kick it into another gear,” said Jackson, who will also be competing in the 400-Meter Dash at the State Meet. “I like it when we have the lead, but if we’re chasing people, then I know what I’ve got to do.”
There is some quiet competition between the four young men, but probably not for what you think. They’re not competing to see who has the fastest split time, they’re competing to not have the slowest split time.
“That’s the first thing they ask me after every practice and meet ‘Who had the slowest split’,” said Lions track coach Kane Harris.
When asked who had the slowest split time in the regional finals, the other three turned to look at him with slight grins on their faces, but no one pointed a finger at him.
That’s because successful teams don't point fingers at teammates. Successful teams do what this Lion relay team has done all season – work hard in practice to get better while also having some fun; support each other; and trust each other.