After a dominant showing in the area track meet, Richon Rogers of Bowie knew she had her work cut out for her if she hoped to make a similar showing at the 6A Region I meet.
The junior’s extra effort paid off, and now she’s making preparations for state. Rogers finished second in discus and third in shot put at regionals last weekend at the University of Texas at Arlington.
“I’m really looking forward to this,” Rogers said prior to regionals. “Go big or go home. And I don’t want to go home.”
Rogers and her Bowie teammates came up big at the area meet. Both the boys and girls squads finished at the top of the team standings. Rogers won shot put and discus at the area meet, and the girls 4x100 relay also took first. On the boys side, Niko Small, a TCU football signee, won triple jump and long jump. Jaron Hamilton was first in the 3200.
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“The medals are nice,” Rogers said of her two first-place finishes in area. “But it’s more about how I felt about my performance.”
Rogers wasn’t completely satisfied with how she performed at the area meet. But she likely was heartened by her regional performance. “Right now, I’m liking shot put better because I’m doing better in shot, but I really like discus,” Rogers said. “That’s probably where my heart has been the last couple years.”
In discus, Rogers’ throw of 132 feet, 6 inches placed her behind only Ryanne Johnson of Keller, whose first-place throw traveled more than 139 feet. Rogers, who missed some recent practice time because of her involvement in choir, AVID college preparation and other activities, was working last week to improve on her recent throws, which were averaging in the mid-120s.
“I’m ranked No. 1 in discus, but I haven’t gotten back to where I was,” Rogers said. “I’ve only gotten to 124 to 126 and that’s putting me at third or fourth. So I really want to go out and attack.”
In shot put, Rogers’ throw of 43 feet was behind only Leilyn Miles of Trophy Club Nelson’s winning throw of 46 feet, 4 inches and Destiny Meyers of Duncanville’s 44 feet, 2 inches.
“In shot put I just need to stay focused and not let Destiny or Leilyn or anybody else get in my head,” Rogers said. “Because it’s all about that.”
Rogers’ teammate Carli McDonald, a freshman, finished fifth in the long jump at regionals. Like Rogers, McDonald might be booking a trip to state in coming seasons. “She’s a beast in the making,” girls track coach Doris Grooms said.
On the boys side, the top performer at regionals was Small, who finished fourth in the triple jump and sixth in long jump. Also, the relay team of Bronshaye Bolden, Kobe Daniel, Anthony Hawkins and Darien Porter finished fourth in the 4x200.
Junior Ardran Carr also made a strong showing. Carr, who finished seventh in the boys 300 hurdles, is recovering from an injured left hamstring.
“Previously, it hurt me the whole way through,” said Carr, who also stars on the Bowie football team. “Now it’s feeling good.”
Another reason for Carr and his boys teammates to feel good at regionals was fair weather. At the area meet, rain delays pushed back the start of some events by more than two hours.
“You walk out to the track and they say, ‘Postponed,’ and you walk right back inside,” said Hamilton, who won the 3200 at area despite not feeling he was at his best. “I bet it affected the other guys. I bet a lot of the other guys lost their energy.”