Athletes win medals at national track meet – Bowie News

The state track and field meet concluded Saturday and Montague County has three athletes bringing home hardware.
Forestburg freshman Brenna Briles returns with a gold medal while Nocona junior Graci Brown and Saint Jo freshman Damon Byrd bring home bronze medals.
Briles won the 1A girls high jump with a 5-2 jump to give the freshman the state championship.

Graci Brown of Nocona won a bronze medal competing in the 2A girls 800-meter race. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

For Nocona’s Brown competing in 2A, she was feeling the pressure of trying to defend her two state titles she won in the 400 and 800 meters last year. In a tough field, she finished fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 59.42, less than a second out of first place. But it wasn’t just a disappointment as she won a bronze medal earlier in the 800 meters with a time of 2:19.
Brown then joined Ava Johnson, Ayden Patton and Meg Meekins as the 4×400 relay team also competed at state for the second year in a row. The team finished fifth with a time of 4:06.

Saint Jo’s Damon Byrd wins a bronze medal in the 1A men’s triple jump. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

Originally from Saint Jo participating in the 1A classification, Damon Byrd also participated in three events. Byrd won a bronze medal in the triple jump with a length of 43-7½. In the long jump, he nearly won another medal, finishing in fourth place with a jump of 20-9¼, five inches shy of third place.
Finally, he was also part of a relay team. He joined Blaine Penaluna, Devin Stewart and Lee Yeley in the 4×200 relay. The Panthers placed seventh with a time of 1:33.
It was all about the medals, but that’s not what all state races are about. Sometimes the journey there is just as important.

Bowie’s Tucker Jones finished eighth in the 3A boys 110-meter hurdles. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

Bowie senior Tucker Jones managed to qualify in the 3A boys 110-meter hurdles for the second year in a row. Jones had won the wildcard spot, earning the final qualifier despite placing third with a career-best time at regionals.
Even if Jones could repeat the feat, a medal was likely out of reach given the field he was racing against.
Jones ran well, but not at his best as he finished in 14.99 seconds and earned eighth place. Both were better results than last year at State, where he was just happy to make it to the big dance.
It was a similar story last year, where Jones ran his fastest time ever at regionals to qualify, finishing second that time.
Even though he didn’t medal in two tries at state, just getting there was a journey for Jones. In his second year, he fell at the first obstacle in the regional final.
Coming back the next two years and running his best races shows what type of athlete he is.

Gold-Burg’s Isaac Renteria finished fourth in the 1A boys 3,200-meter run. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

Gold-Burg junior Isaac Renteria was also returning to state for the second year in a row, but had plenty of experience on the big stage having also competed three times in cross country.
Competing in the 1A boys 3,200-meter race, Renteria narrowly missed the medal for the second year in a row by again finishing in fourth place, although his time was nearly 10 seconds faster running 10:06.
Some other athletes were soaked in their first appearances at the national track and field competition.

Reagan Ladewig of Forestburg placed ninth in the 1A girls shot put event. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

Forestburg senior Reagan Ladewig competed for the Lady Horns for the final time, competing in the 1A girls’ shot put. She finished in ninth place with her best throw being 31-2¾.
It ends a career for Ladewig who began her high school education competing in five different events before focusing on some of them, which paid off, as she said in her final attempt this year.

Linzie Priddy of Prairie Valley poses with her father after competing in the 1A girls 800-meter run. (Courtesy photo)

From Prairie Valley, junior Linzie Priddy was competing in the state track meet for the first time. However, this was her third time representing the Lady Bulldogs at the state level, having qualified for state in cross country her freshman and junior years.
Competing in the 1A girls 800 meters, Priddy finished in ninth place with a time of 2:39.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the midweek edition of the Bowie News.