Saturday , 21 April 2018

MISD Track & Field Programs Humbled By Historic Seasons

By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer

Last Friday and Saturday, MISD high schools had the privilege of sending eight athletes down to Austin to compete at the 2012 UIL state track & field meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium. After two days of grueling competition all three schools walked away with medals, capping off an historic year in MISD track & field.

While McKinney Boyd had only one athlete qualify for state, the Broncos did not walk away empty-handed. That’s because junior Justin Wilson won the bronze medal in the class 5A long jump competition, becoming the first Boyd track & field competitor to ever place in the state meet. After a season in which Wilson had to overcome a dislocated elbow that had his season in question at one point, head track coach Brad Patterson spoke about how Wilson overcame some early nerves and how he was very close to taking the gold medal in the event.

“Oh definitely he was nervous. When he came out, the jump that got him third was actually his first jump, and his sixth jump was pretty good as well,” said Patterson. “It just came down to hitting one. If he had hit one good, he would have won because he was only three inches out of first. But absolutely, no doubt about it, he was nervous.”

Wilson’s third place finish in the event meant that Boyd received six points in the state meet, which Patterson believes will not only motivate the other kids in the program to try and compete down in Austin next year, but also will motivate Wilson to get back there and win the gold.

“It motivates the kids for sure. Justin is hungry to get back there and get a gold medal instead of a bronze.”

While Wilson was able to bring a teammate to keep him company and provice support, a custom that is followed by many districts around the area, Patterson knows that he had the support back home from his entire team who wanted to see him succeed in the state meet. Despite a different type of team dynamic in the sport of track and field, Patterson believes that the 2012 season shows just how important competing as a team is to the overall success of the program.

“It is kind of harder to build that or make them think like that, but it was definitely a plus this year that we won district as a team, and we got to see everybody matters and everybody counts,” said Patterson. “What was so unique is that everybody we took on varsity scored or contributed points. That doesn’t happen very often.”

In a year that saw several athletic programs at Boyd take huge strides in the right direction, Patterson summarizes the season and its importance in one very simple and concise statement.

“I mean I always think you have some steps forward and you always have some steps back, but as a whole this was definitely our best year.”

Here are Wilson’s stats from the class 5A long jump competition:

Finish Name             School                          Finals       Wind                  Points
3         Justin Wilson McKinney Boyd          23-03.00    0.9     7.08m     6    
     23-03(0.9) 22-02.25(1.3) 22-04.50(-0.1) 22-00.50(2.9) 22-07.75(0.1) 23-00(3.4)

McKinney North qualified for a single event in the state meet in 2012, meaning that the 4 X 400 M Relay team consisting of Daniel Dijospeph, Austin Parsonage, Maliek Golden, and Mark Bresnahan finally “kicked the door down” in getting to compete in Austin, at least in the eyes of head boys track coach Matt Bilyeu.

“This is huge for our program; we finally kicked that door down and got to state and hopefully it is a door that we can keep open,” said Bilyeu following his relay team’s bronze medal finish in the class 4A 4 X 400 M relay competition last Friday. When asked just how important the third place finish was to the program now and in the following years, Bilyeu spoke glowingly about how his boys came together as a team this year.

“It is a testament to the work that our guys have done. They bought into what we were doing as a program and into the team concept and just worked extremely hard,” said Bilyeu. “We only had one guy who returned from the mile-relay a year ago and the other three guys were brand new legs, but early on they just put it in their minds that they were going to go do this and went out there and achieved that goal.”

While there were some obvious nerves on the faces of his team in the days leading up to the state meet, Bilyeu said that he has never seen a group prepare the day of the event with so much focus and determination, creating a moment that he will remember forever.

“I think there were butterflies initially. Early in the week of the meet I think there were some guys that were nervous about the whole experience and what it would be like. But once we got down there, I’ll be honest I didn’t see nervous,” said Bilyeu. “I saw focus, I saw guys that were determined, and it was a pretty incredible experience to be down there around those guys with that kind of focus.

“I appreciate those guys for giving me this memory and I hope this is something that we can do more often. I am just thankful for those guys.”

Even junior runner Maliek Golden can attest to having some butterflies before the race, even going so far to say that he was flat out “scared,” but somehow those anxious emotions brought out the best in himself and his teammates.

“We kind of said that on the way down there like ‘Man I am nervous’ and more so myself; they kept telling me I was way too nervous and I was like ‘I am past nervous, I’m kind of scared,’ said Golden. “And I’ve been like that since the first meet and I have no idea why, but I have always been scared and I actually think that kind of motivates me.”

However, the nerves quickly went away minutes before the race when the four guys began talking to one another and encouraging their teammates to “run the best you can run.”

“We all talked to each other before the race and just said let’s go do this thing and run the best that you can run. I always say that and that’s kind of my thing,” said Golden. “But if you run the best that you can run and somebody passes you or you pass someone else, it is the best that you can do and you can’t ask for more. No one can bring the best out of you better than you can.”

Despite the fact that North is donning a bronze medal from the state meet, Bilyeu believes that his team’s highlight of the season was North’s second place finish in the regional championship because of what it took from his entire unit to get to that finish.

“Getting to state was incredible, but to finish second in the regional track meet was a huge team accomplishment and was done by everybody on our track team. We are also district champions for the third time out of four years, and again everyone on our team contributed in some way. They are each others best fans and they support each other, and to win the district title and finish second in regionals is just a great team effort.”

Now while the bronze medal still looks pretty good in the trophy case to Golden and the rest of his track and field team, he is already preparing for how he and his teammates will do better next year when they definitely make it back to Austin, one reason why he calls this past weekend a tremendous “learning experience.”

“It is a learning experience because I am a junior and I get to go down there kind of knowing what’s going to be thrown at me again because we will make it back for sure.”

Here are the 4 X 400 M relay results for McKinney North:

4A 4 X 400 M Relay
Finish School                               Finals       Points
3         McKinney North              3:15.17     12                 
           1) Daniel Dijoseph                 2) Austin Parsonage                          
           3) Maliek Golden                   4) Mark Bresnahan

After a tremendous career on the track for McKinney High’s Meghan Shea, last Friday marked her final two events in her incredible high school journey where she finished third in the class 4A 800 M race and second in the 1600 M race.

“Even for a talent like Meghan it is an incredible feat to make it down there four years in a row and be consistent enough to compete at that level,” said MHS girls head track coach Clay Davis after he saw Shea and fellow teammate Andresha Jackson compete in the state meet last weekend. Jackson finished eighth in the class 4A Discus event out of nine competitors.

“It is always an honor to get down there and be one of the top nine in the state in 4A, and coming from our region means a lot to because typically our region is very represented in the state meet,” said Davis about his athlete’s performances in Austin. “We had a great experience and I thought our kids competed very well. When you get down there you might be intimidated or you might have a bad day, but I thought our kids just battled and grinded and competed very well and represented McKinney High School in the best way that we could have hoped.”

Davis was able to send two girl participants down to Austin for the first time in his tenure at MHS, a feat that he considers huge for the entire outlook of the program. When Davis talked about both Jackson and Shea, he not only discussed what they each were able to accomplish on the track and field this season but how they impacted him personally on a daily basis off of it.

“Andresha had an outstanding season; to get eighth in the state is quite an accomplishment. She showed a nice progression from year to year and we were just thrilled with how she went down there and performed,” said Davis. “Meghan kind of struggled through some things that kind of nagged her this year and kept her from doing some of the things that she wanted to do. She wasn’t running as well as she would have liked and I just kept telling here that no one will remember who wins some of these races or how well you run in some of the races as long as you run well when they count, and she certainly did that.”

“Meghan and Andresha both are great kids and I couldn’t ask for more as a coach to get to go to school every day and deal with kids that are just a good reflection of myself, our program, and their families.”

While the sense of finality in the regional meet created the most nerves on the MHS side, Davis remembers telling Shea before the state meet events to stay focused on what she could control at the moment and not think about the finality the meet brings to her high school career.

“Of course when you get there the nerves are a big part of it and how you handle it basically dictates how you will perform, but I just kept telling Meghan all day that don’t think about this being your last race or this being your senior year, just be in the moment and breathe,” said Davis. “Just control everything because she has always performed well on a big stage. I thought both of those kids handled their nerves and just competed to their best abilities and left everything they had out there on the field. I expected that from both of them.”

In addition to Shea and Jackson, senior Adam Grant competed in the class 4A long jump and triple jump events, placing third and eighth respectively.

Here are the full results for MHS participants:

4A Long Jump
Finish Name            School         Finals        Wind               Points
3        Adam Grant  McKinney   22-03.75   -2.0     6.80m    6          
    22-02.50(-0.4) 22-03.75(-2.0) FOUL(-0.5) 21-11.50(0.1) 21-08.75(-0.6) 22-03(-0.7)

4A Triple Jump
Finish Name              School              Finals        Wind                         Points
8        Adam Grant    McKinney        44-00.00   -0.9    13.41m            0

4A Discus
Finish Name                         School                       Finals                         Points
8        Andresha Jackson      McKinney                 125-02     38.15m       0
    FOUL  117-11  125-02  119-11  114-02  121-09

4A 800M
Finish Name                            School                      Finals        Points
3         Meghan Shea               McKinney                2:12.61      6

4A 1600M
Finish Name                            School                      Finals                                  Points
2         Meghan Shea               McKinney                4:57.64 (-.631 From 3rd)     8   

After Friday’s action concluded and all MHS and North athletes had competed, McKinney North boys finished with 12 total team points in the meet while Grant earned all six of McKinney’s total team points on the boys side. On the girl’s scorecard, MHS finished with 14 total team points, good for fourteenth place through the first 17 events on Friday.

Congratulations to all of the athletes who competed last weekend and hope that next season brings even more success to the track and field programs in MISD.

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