AUSTIN - Dalton Brooks didn't need to look back when he got the baton for the anchor leg of Shiner's 800-meter relay team.
Shiner's Zane Rhodes (2360) competes in the Class 2A Boys 800 relay during the UIL Track and Field State Championships on Friday. all photos by Mikala Compton, Special to the Advocate
Brooks knew how close the race was and knew how important it was for the Comanches to cross the finish line first.
"You could hear Post behind me and Mart behind me telling them to come on," Brooks said. "But once I got it, I did what I knew how to do and just turned it on."
The team of Jayden Carson, Zane Rhodes, Trevor Haynes and Brooks won the relay in a Class 2A state-record time of 1 minute, 28.29 seconds at the UIL state track & field meet Friday night at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The gold medal helped spur the Comanches to their first track & field team state championship with 44 points. Refugio finished second with 38 points.
"This is what we were building up for and things fell into place for us," said Shiner coach Randy Palmer. "The kids did a great job and kept plugging away. We kind of nickled and dimed a little bit. Winning the 800 relay was huge for us."
Haynes, a senior, did his part by running a leg on the 800 and 400 relay that finished fourth. He also won a silver medal in the 100 and long jump.
"It goes back to our sophomore year," Haynes said. "We kind of wanted to break the record our next year, which never happened. To get at least one feels good."
Shiner also won the 2020 state football championship, and becomes the first area school to win track and football titles in the same school year since Cuero in 1987-1988.
"We've got great kids who work hard and this is what we get," Palmer said. "To be able stack it with our football championship is a lot of fun."
Shiner's Dalton Brooks (2353) competes in the Class 2A Boys 800 relay during the UIL Track and Field State Championships on Friday, May 7, 2021.
Shiner's Trevor Haynes (2357) won one gold medal, two silver medals and scored 23 points at the state meet. He was also second in the area in long jump and triple jump, and fifth in 100-meter dash.
Shiner's Trevor Haynes (2357) competes in the Class 2A Boys 100 meter dash during the UIL Track and Field State Championships on Friday, May 7, 2021.
Zane Rhodes (2360), Trevor Haynes (2357), Dalton Brooks (2353) and Jayden Carson (2355) won the Boys 2A 800-Meter Relay gold medal in a Class 2A state-record time of 1:28.29 at the Texas UIL Track and Field State Championships on Friday, May 7, 2021.
photo by Mike Forman on Twitter (@mikeforman)
Shiner's Boys Track & Field Team won the Boys 2A State Championship at the Texas UIL Track and Field State Championships on Friday, May 7, 2021.
photo by Mike Forman on Twitter (@mikeforman)
The Shiner's Boys Track & Field Team poses with their UIL 2A State Championship trophy at the Texas UIL Track and Field State Championships on Friday, May 7, 2021.
photo from Facebook (May 2021)
Bobcats strike late
Refugio's 1,600-meter relay team of Nathan Meza, Jason Moore, Sean Jones and Isaiah Avery entered the meet's final event as the ninth seed.
The Bobcats were in third place when Avery got the baton.
But the freshman took the lead with about 100 meters to go and Refugio held on to win in a time of 3:25.88.
"I started off my first 200 pretty good," Avery said. "I saw they were a little bit in front of me so I kept up. I told myself I was going to run my race and I wasn't going to chase. It came down to the last 100 and I was able to pass them."
The win combined with freshman Ernest Campbell's gold medal in the 100, and a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 110 and 300 hurdles by Zavien Wills lifted Refugio into second place.
"We've got two seniors and two freshmen on that team," said Refugio coach Kent Hawthorne. "All four of them ran their best times tonight. I told them I've been coaching for a long time and had a lot of mile relay teams make it to state.
"It's not unusual to go in there and run 7 or 8 seconds faster than you have all-year long because of the adrenaline and everything and you've got to be in the best shape you've been in. I just think it was their work ethic and attitudes. They came in the worst time, but they didn't care. They fought through it and I'm proud of them."
Leaving in style
Yorktown's Kailey Sinast was making her third and final appearances at the state meet.
She made it a memorable one by winning the 100 and 300 hurdles in personal-best times of 14.91 and 44.85 seconds, respectively.
"I think all the adrenaline and nerves have been building up inside me the last two weeks and I had to let them all out," Sinast said. "I've been here before, I know what it's like, it's just run the race like I know how to do it."
The color silver
Refugio sophomore Peyton Oliver was making her first appearance at the state meet and left with a pair of silver medals.
Oliver was second in the 100 (12.28) and 200 (25.61) dashes. Weimar senior Camille Garcia was third in the 100 in a personal-best 12.40.
"It was incredible just getting out there," Oliver said. "I zoned in completely. I could hear my mom in the back. I wasn't shaking. It was so quick I didn't really have time to think. It was just different."
Oliver said the experience has motivated her to get back next year.
"It's just crazy," she said. "It's been a long season. My hard work has finally paid off. It's such a good feeling."
First time, best time
Victoria West junior Connor Williams came into his first state meet seeded ninth in the 400.
But Williams finished seventh in a personal-best time of 49.34.
Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
or on Twitter @mikeforman21.
Mikala Compton is an award-winning photographer with the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.
Contact her at 913-558-9845 or email@example.com,
or on Twitter @MikalaCompton.