• Photo by David Flynn
    Juan Arrendondo competes in the shot put.
  • Photo by David Flynn
    Bradlee Little competes in the pole vault. He took home the bronze for GHS.
  • Photo by David Flynn
    Connor Smith took home the silver for Graham in the discus.

Local athletes fare well at state track meet in Austin

Graham, Bryson and Newcastle athletes bring home state medals

Local track athletes had strong showings at the UIL State Track Meet in Austin over the weekend.

The meet was held Thursday through Saturday at the Mike Myers Track Complex at the University of Texas. 

Connor Smith took the silver in the discus for Graham, Bradlee Little finished third in the pole vault, Grady Shields won two bronze medals for Newcastle, and Caleigh Forbus took the bronze home for Bryson in the long jump.

Smith competed for Graham on Saturday morning in the discus. Smith took home the silver medal with his second place throw of 161-03. The gold winner was Jacob Allen of Bullard with a throw of 177-02. Third place was Lane Michna of Lorena.Graham’s last gold at the state meet came in the discus event in 2005 with Dan Schmidt. Smith just missed that mark in 2016.

The race for the 4A boys pole vault title was intense. Riley Richards from China Springs captured the gold with a distance of 16-00. The battle for second and third was even tighter. Clayton Fritsch from Sealy finished second with a 15-0, and Graham’s Little finished third with a distance of 14-06. Little was in a tie with Colton Cohea from Sinton who also had the same distance. Little had a strong pole vaulting season all year and also set many of Texoma’s best distances.

Juan Arrendondo competed first at the state meet for Graham. Arrendondo was an unstoppable force for most of the meets this spring and was among Texoma’s best in shot put. 

The competition at state was very strong for Arrendondo. He placed fourth with a distance of 54-02. 

First place in the shot-put for 4A was Michna of Lorena with a distance of 58-09.50. Second was Jacob Allen from Bullard with a distance of 58-00.75. The third place finisher was Michael Zuniga of Rio Hondo. His throw went for 57-00.50.

Grady Shields from Newcastle competed strongly in the 1A boys high jump. He took home the bronze medal with a jump of 6-04. The first place finisher for the 1A high jump was Michael Rodriguez from Rankin with a 6-06. Second was David Smith of Gholson with a 6-05.

Shields brought Newcastle another Bronze medal with his third place finish in the 1A long jump with a jump of 21-01.50. The event was won by Ladarius Arnett. He had a jump of 22-02. The silver winner was Asher Rogers from Water Valley. His jump was 21-11.

Bryson’s Caleigh Forbus competed well in the 1A girls long jump. She grabbed the bronze medal  for the Cowgirls on Friday in the long jump with a jump of 16-09.75. 

Lilly Worbington from Kopperl took home the gold in the girls 1A long jump with a jump of 17-01. The silver finisher was Troy Weaver from Moran with a jump of 16-10. Forbus just missed the mark for silver.

“Caleigh only hit half of the board on her fifth jump to get that mark when she was sitting fourth going into finals,” Bryson coach and athletic director Jason Briles said. “She was excited. Her goal was to medal, but to PR also was a plus.” 

The Graham Leader

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