The Mansfield boys track and field team finished second behind DeSoto at the district meet, which may have been quite an accomplishment on its own merit.
But the Tigers came back in the area round meet and came away as co-champions.
As a result, the squad qualified 11 events for the regional meet, which was held last weekend in Lubbock.
Making the cut and now headed to the state meet are Tigers Julius Lewis in the long jump, the 4x400m relay and Kami Stockett in the girls discus, throwing for 147 feet.
Lewis jumped 23’ ¼” for second place, while the 4x400 quartet finished third, but still had the next fastest time across the other three regionals.
The Lubbock regional had such a fast field, this marked the third year in a row a third place relay from Region I picked up the wild card slot for the state meet.
The mile relay team consists of Grayson Lee, Lewis, Bobby McGuire and Lamarcus Woodard. The alternates are Said Adeveo and Antonio Shaffer.
The 4x400 crew placed third at with a 3.16.40 and was the fourth fastest in state’s regionals.
The state meet will be in Austin on May 9-10, with the Tigers’ events on Saturday.
DeSoto, a perennial power in track and field, was caught by Mansfield at the area’s final event, the 4x400m relay.
DeSoto had to sit and watch as the Tigers finished second in the event to garner the 88.5 points to tie the Eagles.
The area round pitted the district qualifiers from District 7-5A and 8-5A.
The Tigers’ 11 events who emerged from the area round event to compete at the regional, is the most Mansfield head coach Mark Stout could recall.
“That’s about the most events we’ve had covered,” Stout said. “Last year, we had seven events, which was one of the most I’ve had in the last 10 years that I’ve been head coach,” he said.
Competing at the regional meet was Matt Farina in the 1-mile and 2-mile. His efforts produced a school record in each event.
Also in the 1- and 2-mile events was John Stivers. The 4x200 and the 4x400m relays also both went to Lubbock.
Joe Brown qualified for regionals in both the shot put and discus, while Stockus also qualified in the two events for the girls.
Woodard ran in the 400m after finishing second at the area meet while Lee ran the 800m. Long jumper Lewis was second in the area long jump while also setting a school record.
Other Lady Tigers who went to the regional meet included Taylor Parker in the 1-mile and 2-mile events and Danielle Johnson competing in the high jump.
“I’m really proud of the kids and what they accomplished,” said Stout after the area championship win.
Stout acknowledged the talent required to qualify for the state meet coming out of the Region I grouping.
“With Amarillo and El Paso teams coming in, it’s really difficult,” he said.
The regional also includes standout distance runners from teams such as Keller and Southlake Carroll.
“We’re competing at a high level,” Stout said, noting that Farina would need to drop his personal record (PR) by 5-6 seconds to qualify for a state spot with the runners at Lubbock.
“Just compete and do your best,” Stout said of his direction to his squad. “They can’t take a PR from you.”
Others making the cut for the state meet are Timberview’s Kelsey Johnson, the regional champion. Bryanna Lawrence finished fifth in the event.
Lawrence placed third in the triple jump and Johnson, fourth, but got the state nod on their wild card distances.