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Thursday, December 9, 2021

UIL State Track Meet Starts today with KHS Represented

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Reprinted in part from burntorangenation.com

The 2014 U.I.L. Track and Field State Meet will take place this Friday and Saturday (May 9-10) at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin on the UT campus.

The meet will not be broadcast on TV, and in a change from recent years, it will not be webcast either, so the only way to watch the action will be to catch it in person. {{more}}For those interested in attending the state meet, the full schedule and list of competitors can be found at the meet’s official website here.

Some of the best athletes in the country will be in Austin this weekend, and there are plenty of good reasons to watch the state meet. You want dramatic storylines? The state meet will have plenty of them. There are several defending champions back to win more gold, some who are seeking their third straight state title in an event, and at least two athletes who will attempt to win their event for the fourth consecutive year! There are also several potential redemption stories, as numerous competitors who faltered at state when favored in previous years will make one last attempt at bringing home a state title to their school. Class 3A has a brother-sister pair [Kennedale] who both have a good chance at winning multiple medals this weekend. And aside from all that, there are dozens of senior athletes who, though not favored to win their event, have still done well enough to get themselves to the state meet and will be representing their schools and home towns in athletic competition for the last time.

To qualify for the state meet, athletes had to first have a top-four performance in an event at their school’s district meet, then finish in the top four in that event at their area meet, and finally, finish in the top two in that event at the regional meet, or they could earn a wild card bid to the state meet with a third place finish in their event at the regional meet if their time or distance was the best out of the third place finishers at their classification’s four regional meets.

The competitors in each event (and within each classification) at the state meet are ranked by their seed time or seed mark, which reflects their performance at their respective regional meets. These are useful up to a point; the wind conditions were very different at some regional meet sites compared with others, and often the athletes’ seed times and distances were not the best they’ve had this season.

The 3A state meet record (4×200 relay) appears quite safe, but the relay teams in that classification include some notable names. Kennedale, which finished third at state last year and owns the top seed time going into this year’s meet (1:27.84), lists 2015 running back Juwan Washington as an alternate runner.

The 3A boys final has the most star power of all the 200 meter heats. UCLA track signee Leon Powell (Kennedale) has the top seed time (21.21), followed by Texas A&M-Commerce football signee Josh Reynolds (Paris), who finished fourth at last year’s state meet. Joining them are Baylor football signee Jourdan Blake (Princeton), New Mexico State football signee Royce Caldwell (Columbus), and 2015 Texas A&M football commit Jay Bradford (Splendora), who is the defending state champion in the 3A 100 meters but is running the 200 at state for the first time. Bradford’s seed time, 22.06, is only seventh-best in the group, but he previously ran a wind-aided 21.49 in the prelims at the 3A Region III meet.

The 3A 200 meter finals also feature a brother-sister act: the just-mentioned Leon Powell, and his twin sister, San Jose State track signee De’Andrea Powell (Kennedale). Both will compete in three events this weekend. De’Andrea has only the seventh-best seed time in the 3A girls 200 meters (24.68), but stands a better chance of winning gold in the 4×100 relay or 4×200 relay. She helped Kennedale’s girls win gold in the 4×100 and silver in the 4×200 relays at the 2013 state meet, and she also ran on the 4×200 relay team that finished seventh at the 2012 state meet.

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