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State notebook: Judson relay pulls off stunner to capture gold

May 12, 2019

AUSTIN - The Judson Rockets didn’t break a city record in the 800-meter relay like they did at the UIL state championship last year. But they came away with something better - a gold medal.

And, they did it in stunning fashion.

Entered as the eighth seed, the team of senior Richard Kuykendoll, junior Anthony Shelton, senior Dre’Quan Crawford and senior Keynon Morgan captured the boys Class 6A 800 relay with a season-best time of 1 minute, 24.09 seconds.

“We had a good feeling about the (800 relay),” Crawford said. “We’ve been saying it has been our strongest relay of the season, and we proved that today.”

The victory comes a year after the Rockets claimed bronze in a city-record time of 1:23.58.

“I guess redemption was on our minds,” Crawford said. “We thought we should have won it all last year and then we thought we got second and we ended up getting third. Today, we got first.”

The Rockets entered with the eighth-fastest time from regionals (1:26.34). Their season-best was 1:25.49.

Morgan, the anchor, took the baton in third place. One of the teams ahead of Judson, DeSoto, had a bad exchange and that sparked Morgan.

“I took that as an opportunity to just go,” Morgan said. “If I didn’t take that opportunity, I was going to get caught. I dug something out, and we ended up getting first.”

Roosevelt junior falls shy of 50, gets bronze

Roosevelt junior triple jumper Rashod Owens wanted to reach the 50-foot plateau on Saturday.

He was shy, ending up at 48-10 that was good enough for third place in his state debut.

“I’m pretty happy about it because it’s my first time ever approaching state,” Owens said. “But, I have high standards, and I expected more out of me.”

Owens set a city record of 49-10¾ at last month’s District 25/26-6A area meet. That mark was the best in the state and third-best in the nation.

Owens also competed in the long jump, finishing sixth.

Devine senior finds gold in final race

He didn’t believe it at first, but when the official results from the boys 4A 300 hurdles were revealed, they showed senior Quentin Zapata shattered Devine’s school record with a time of 13.84.

The previous record was a 14.00 set in the 1980s. He got out fast and never trailed.

“I ran a 14.22 at regionals, and I wasn’t sure I could run that again,” Zapata said. “I was really nervous. I had two guys with 14.3s in the lanes next to me. I got out of the blocks and never saw them again.”

Johnson’s Zuniga kicks to a bronze

Johnson junior Victor Zuniga steadily made his way in medal contention with a strong finish that netted him a bronze in the boys 6A 800 run with a personal-best 1:53.37.

“I’ve always been confident with my kick and I was able to maintain it and pick off guys one by one,” Zuniga said. “It was awesome.”

Great Hearts junior earns first medal

Duncan Naylor, a junior at San Antonio Great Hearts Academy, earned his first medal in three state appearances.

Naylor finished third in the boys 2A 3,200-meter run in a time of 9 minutes, 51.21 seconds. He finished about nine seconds behind Milano’s Garrett Jones and Sundown’s Steven Quintanilla, who were a close 1-2.

“I’m really proud of my race,” said Naylor, who was the Express-News Runner of the Year last fall in cross country. “This is like the cherry on top.”

Sabinal junior nabs second medal

Sabinal junior Kamryn Chapman tossed 125 feet, 10 inches in the girls 2A discus and that was enough to earn the silver. It happened a year after finishing third in the same event.

She was four inches behind winner Bree Baker of Panhandle. Although she was aiming for 133 feet, she was content with the silver.

“I’m pretty proud because I did better than last year,” Chapman said. “That’s all you can ask for.”

dhinojosa@express-news.net

Twitter: @hinojosa_david