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Track and Field

Bearcats looking for gold in Austin

800-meter relay hopes to improve on school record set at regionals


Two seconds. It took longer than to type those two words.

However, even less than two seconds separates the Aledo Bearcats' 800-meter (4x200) relay from a gold medal at this weekend's Class 5A State Track and Field Meet at the University of Texas in Austin.

The quartet of juniors Hawk Patrick-Daniels, Aven Lawrence, Jaden Allen, and Hauss Hejny clocked a school-record time of 1 minute, 26.30 seconds. It has them sitting as the third seed at state, narrowly behind top seeded Denton Ryan's 1:24.68 and second seed Red Oak's 1:25.14.

That school record was set at the Region 1 Meet in Lubbock April 28-29. First-year Bearcats head coach Andrew Clark believes that time can be improved upon and that a gold medal is definitely in their sights.

"The 4x200 is in a great place. Allen is getting in better shape day to day…he isn’t where he was pre-injury, so with the extra two weeks of work (since regionals) we should see his time drop," Clark said. "Also, we had a bad exchange on the third exchange that cost us some time. We clean that up and get Allen in better shape to finish, I think we can drop some serious time."

The Bearcats also have the 1600 (4x400) relay competing, along with junior Brad Campbell in the pole vault.

The 1600 relay is seeded fifth, with the foursome of junior Adam Averett, Lawrence, junior Blake Burdine, and Hejny posting a time of 3:19.39. The top qualifying time was Mansfield Timberview with a 3:15.74, but Aledo is narrowly behind third seed Comal Smithson Valley (3:18.87) and second seed McKinney North (3:18.35).

The Bearcats have a season-best time of 3:19.06 in the event at the Area 5/6 Meet on April 21 with senior Nathan Wood running a leg of the relay.

"We would be sitting in fourth with our best time in the season so I am expecting that. I think we have a serious chance to go low 3:18 or a high 3:17, which will put us in the mix for a medal," Clark said.

The last Bearcat to medal at the state meet in the running events was Clay Murador in the 400 as a sophomore in 2021.

As for who will run the relays, Clark has several options as juniors Christopher Johnson and Vincent Luffey, along with freshman Dominick Barrera, are also possibilities.

"When it is all said and done the four fastest/healthiest guys will be on the track," Clark said. "We have a great group of guys that understand that and understand their role."

Campbell comes into state seeded sixth. He cleared a career-best 15 feet, 3 inches to finish second at regionals after winning both district and area competition at 14-6 and 15-1.

The top qualifying vault was by Argyle's Gator Young at 16-5.

Field events are Friday morning, May 12 at 9 a.m. and running events begin at 5 p.m.


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