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Just ask Paris High’s small contingent of athletes who made the trip to Austin Saturday for the Class 3A Track and Field Championships at UT-Austin’s Mike Myers Stadium. They entered the meet with medal-stand aspirations in three events but could only bring back a fourth-place and a fifth-place finish as consolation prizes.
The bad fortunes actually started before the group packed for the trip. The boys 4×100 meter relay team had to make a last-minute substitution of one of its main legs when junior Leonel Gutierrez came up lame. Senior Jordan Sanders took Gutierrez’ place in the lineup that also include seniors Kenny Mason, Za King, and Josh Reynolds.
The exchanges weren’t as clean as they had been when the Cats easily won at regionals, and they finished a disappointing eighth place. Kennedale won the race with a time of 41.53, while Paris posted a 42.42.
Reynolds had hoped to challenge UCLA track signee Leon Powell of Kennedale in the 200-meter dash, but the Paris defensive end was slow out of the blocks and never a factor in the race. Powell won with a 21.01, while Reynolds came in fourth and just off the medal platform with a 21.69.
Meanwhile, senior Nish Robins was the lone Lady Cat representative. She finished fifth in discus with a throw of 123-0. Celine Markert of Yoakum won the event with a 145-0.
Robins, who took up the event just two months ago and has shown enough potential to warrant a track scholarship to Texas A&M-Commerce, knew she needed a big throw to get in medal contention. She reached 123-0 on her initial attempt, but fouled on 4 of her final 5 throws.
In team standings, Kennedale won the boys division, 50-32, over runnerup Gilmer. West Oso kept it from being a Kennedale sweep by edging the Lady Wildcats, 38-29, for the girls title.
At least the Cats were able to keep a bit of track history to themselves. Paris High still owns the state’s Class 3A record for the 4x200M Relay. Kennedale won this year’s event in 1:26.33, well off the 1:25.82 standard set by the 2013 Cats.