At last, a Deer athlete wins the Steve Bledsoe Award
Dating back to the 1970s, the conclusion to every Brown Relays track meet has always culminated with the announcement of the Steve Bledsoe Memorial Award, an honor that goes to the male athlete that scores the most points.
It’s been awarded five times to Clear Creek ISD athletes, it’s been awarded multiple times to Pasadena ISD athletes, it was bestowed once on a Jersey Village athlete, it went to Pearland High athletes for three straight years and Alief Taylor athletes had a monopoly on it a decade ago.
But despite Deer Park High School routinely competing in the Brown Relays, the Steve Bledsoe Memorial Award has always eluded an athlete wearing the maroon and gold.
However, that decades-long drought finally came to an end Friday night.
With victories in the 100 and 200-meter runs, sprinter Marcus Molina compiled a Brown Relays-best 22 points to finally garner the elusive award.
Any athlete that walks away with this award has accomplished something special because as in the case Friday night, some 125 male athletes scored points when the cheering finally subsided.
Summer Creek High School, the team champion in both the girls and boys division, seemed to have plenty of sprinters and field event athletes breathing down Molina’s neck.
Devion Hargrove scored 18 points over three events, Angel Robles scored 16 over two events, Barry Richards scored 12 and the quartet of Elijah Bean, Sean Fisher, Jamison Frazier and Mason Gonzalez all tallied 10 points.
Throw in Dickinson’s Brandon Lewis amassing 14 points, Clear Lake’s Charlie Dunn and La Porte’s Ryan Schoppe accumulating 13 points each as did Sam Rayburn’s Raul Lopez and it was obvious Molina needed every one of those points to win the award.
Why even his own teammates were on Molina’s heels for the award. Luciano Escobedo used a pair of second-place finishes to score 16 points and Robert Gonzalez scored 12 points.
In the 100-meters, Molina employed a preliminary time of 11.40 seconds to garner the top seed, following that up in the finals to pin down an 11.18 time to score 10 big points for first place.
But oh brother was the race ever so close. Escobedo was clocked in 11.20, Pasadena Memorial’s Tylen Bennett reached the finish in 11.38 and Dickinson’s Donovan Bradley was fourth in 11.51 seconds.
Then in the 200-meter dash, Molina employed a preliminary time of 22.45 to secure again the top berth.
In the finals, it was another close shave with his teammate. Molina protected his standing with a 22.35 sprint, while Escobedo reached the finish in 22.38. Dickinson’s Bryce Niedziejko was third at 23.04 seconds and Donavon Hardison cornered fourth at 23.20 seconds.
Molina’s opening two points of the meet came in the field events where he earned fifth place in the triple jump with a leap of 38 feet, 10 inches. Three Dickinson athletes captured first, third and fourth for 20 of the possible 31 points.
Since Molina is just a junior, one can bet that Deer Park will be back for the 2020 Brown Relays where the sprinter will try to defend his title as the track meet’s top male points getter.