The El Campo Ricebird track team made history Wednesday night at the district meet in Sealy. The Ricebirds at district had six gold medal finishes and 173 points overall, securing first place, beating Sealy by 12 points.
It was the Ricebirds’ first outright win since 2005 and only their third first-place finish in the last 22 years. El Campo in 2015 tied with Bay City for first place.
With a large boys varsity team and fast athletes, the Ricebirds filled up many events and a handful had teammates taking first and second place. The El Campo boys team showed well in the field and track events and overall is sending an athlete to the area meet in 16 events. The only event El Campo did not advance in is pole vaulting, which they do not compete in. El Campo had a top-three finish in 13 of the 16 events.
“Every year our season goal is to use the weekly track meets as a building block to finding the pieces that will put our team in a position to compete for a district championship,” Ricebirds coach Gabriel Cavazos said. “It has taken some time, but now they enjoy the fruits of their labor. A district championship that nobody can take away. A championship that is well deserved and we are so proud of them. However, the season is not over. Now it’s time to focus on our next goal. (Advancing) to Regionals.”
The Ricebirds did a good job staying focused given the challenges they faced this season, like bad weather and COVID guidelines limiting the number of teams at non-district events, Cavazos added.
Sophomore Rueben Owens II had the most Ricebird gold medal finishes, taking first in the long jump, 100-meter dash and he was a leg in the 4x200-meter relay. Junior Hendrick Hundl had two first-place finishes in the high jump and the 110-meter hurdles. Senior Charles Shorter had two first-place finishes in the triple jump and he was a leg in the 4x200-meter relay.
Ricebirds advancing are:
3,200-meter run - Andres Torres (3rd).
Discus - Hal Erwin (3rd).
High jump - Hendrick Hundl (1st).
Long jump - Rueben Owens II (1st), Charles Shorter (2nd).
Shot put -Kerry North (2nd).
Triple jump - Charles Shorter (1st), Paul Osore (2nd).
4x100-meter relay - De’Koreyus Ward, Charles Shorter, Reed Jung, Rueben Owens II (2nd).
800-meter run - Andres Torres (3rd).
110-meter hurdles - Hendrick Hundl (1st).
100-meter dash - Rueben Owens II (1st).
4x200-meter relay - De’Koreyus Ward, Charles Shorter, Cullen Braden, Rueben Owens II (1st).
400-meter dash - Reed Jung (4th).
300-meter hurdles - Hendrick Hundl (2nd).
200-meter dash - De’Koreyus Ward (2nd).
1,600-meter run - Andres Torres (4th).
4x400-meter relay - Reed Jung, Isaiah Anderson, Cullen Braden, Hendrick Hundl (3rd).
The Ladybird track team came in second at district with 143 points and five first place finishes. Senior Jackie Nichols had three of the Ladybirds gold medal finishes in the long jump, triple jump and she was a leg in the 4x100-meter relay. All three of the Ladybirds relay teams came in first place.
“I think we did very well in the finals,” Ladybird coach Derrick Cash said. “We finished day one with 27 points and in 4th place. To come back (on) day two for (the) finals and finish the meet with 143 points just shows how hard our team worked. We even ran some of our fastest time this season which was real good considering the cold and windy weather.”
Ladybirds advancing are:
Long jump - Jackie Nichols (1st).
Shot put - Kierra North (4th).
Triple jump - Jackie Nichols (1st).
4x100-meter relay - Danaisha Loyd, Jackie Nichols, Keona Wells, Ebrashia Lindsey (1st).
800-meter run - Breanna Perez (2nd), Sierra Hernandez (4th).
100-meter hurdles - Alexia Alcalais (2nd).
100-meter dash - Jackie Nichols (3rd).
4x200-meter relay - Danaisha Loyd, Ebrashia Lindsey, Keona Wells, Jackie Nichols (1st).
300-meter hurdles - Alexia Alcalais (3rd).
200-meter dash - Ebrashia Lindsey (3rd), Keona Wells (4th).
1,600-meter run - Sierra Hernandez (3rd).
4x400-meter relay - Danaisha Loyd, Jaylee Cantu, Kate Bodungen, Breanna Perez (1st).
The area track meet will take place in Sealy on April 15. The top four in each event will qualify for regionals.