El Campo junior Philip Hundl had one goal this year when making his second straight trip to the State track meet.
A season ago, Hundl came up empty handed at State, this year he vowed to return with hardware. The Ricebird junior did just that and brought home two bronze medals with third-place finishes in the high jump and the 110-meter hurdles, Saturday in Austin.
Hundl had career-best times which helped him clinch top finishes in his two events. In the high jump, Hundl cleared 6’7’’ and took third place. In the 110-meter hurdles, he ran a 14.30, good enough for third place.
“It was a good meet,” Hundl said with a big smile. “Everything I wanted to do, I got done.”
At the high jumpers pit, the Ricebird junior had to deal with some slight weather problems. While it wasn’t pristine high jumping conditions on Saturday morning, Hundl still came just a hair short of 6’8’’ which would have tied him for second place. Hundl used all three of his attempts and was able to get his body over the bar, but the back of his leg brought the bar down, keeping him at third.
“You look at the other conferences, I could have won 3A and 1A, Hundl said. “2A, I would have got third, 5A, I would have got third and 6A, I would have got second. Still a really respectable jump overall between the other confrenaces.”
Later in the afternoon, the skies cleared and it gave Hundl perfect weather to run in the 110-meter hurdles. A good jump helped the Ricebird junior have his best-ever time.
“I was really happy with my race,” Hundl said. “There wasn’t much more that I could ask for. Maybe... Just be a tiny bit faster on my time, but no. It was a really good race.”
In the two events, four athletes that bested Hundl were all seniors.
“I definitely did a lot of work this year and got some results towards the end of the season,” Hundl said. “I think next year if I keep working at it, I’ll really, really progress a lot.”
Next year in his senior season, Hundl is hoping to add the 300-meter hurdles to his State resume along with the high jump and 110-meter hurdles.
Since 2004, the boys track team has competed at State five times. In 2004, El Campo took home two bronze medals. Arkeith Brown in the triple jump. The 4x100-meter relay team of Brown, Derek Washington, Freddie Allen and Kevin Valdez finished third.
Hundl wasn’t the only athlete representing El Campo Saturday in Austin. Sophomore Jackie Nichols finished fifth in the long jump. Nichols in her first trip to State had a jump of 17-08.25, a little over an inch less than her jump at Regionals.
“At first I was (disappointed), because I’m competitive and I don’t like to lose,” Nichols said. “But I thought about it and I got fifth out of the whole State, plus I’m a sophomore, so I’ve got more years to go.”
During her first few attempts, she jumped off a foot she normally doesn’t use which was hurting her arc. Assistant Track Coach Gabe Villarreal told her to relax. So Nichols regrouped, started smiling and finished with one good jump in during her six attempts.
“It was my first time (at State), Nichols said. “There were a lot of girls I’ve never seen from different regions.”
Area track finishes
3A boys discus
1) Canadian 168-10’
6) Christian Tovar (Rice) 138-02’
3A boys high jump
1) Ore City 6-06’
5) Ke’von Sims (Rice) 6-04’
3A boys long jump
1) Blooming Grove 22-10.25’
6) Connor Schulman (Rice) 20-06.50’
3A boys 110-meter hurdles
1) Dallas Life Oak Cliff 14.15
9) Connor Schulman (Rice) 16.05
3A girls 4x4-meter relay
1) East Bernard (Rebecca Bearid, Erica Bearid, Zoey Talas, Keata Fortenberry) 3:56.18
8) Rice (Jalayaha Johnson, Lauren Scott, Kyana Hailey, Alaiyza Jones) 4:10.65
3A girls 100-meter hurdles
1) Early 14.93
5) DaAundra Smith (East Bernard) 15.29
3A girls 4x200-meter relay
1) Atlanta 1:42.64
3) East Bernard (Erica Bearid, Cheslee Karasek, Keatan Fortenberry, Zoey Talas) 1:43.18
3A girls 400-meter dash
1) Coleman 56.86
7) Rebecca Bearid (East Bernard) 1:00.24
3A girls 300-meter hurdles
1) Atlanta 44.56
9) Erica Bearid (East Bernard) 47.44
3A girls 4x100-meter relay
1) Atlanta 48.26
2) East Bernard (DaAundra Smith, Keatan Fortenberry, Zoey Talas, Cheslee Karasek) 48.34