By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
The five Jefferson High School athletes who qualified for the state AAA championship track meet at Mike A Meyers Stadium last week were certainly happy to be there, but most of them had another thought in mind – returning next year.
“It was great,” Travon Johnson, who competed in the 100-meter dash and ran the anchor leg on the 4×100 relay, said. “I was district and regional champ, but came in seventh (in the 100). But I plan on going back next year.”
Dee Black, TQ Jackson and Tybo Williams were also members of the relay team that won a Bronze Medal for their Third Place finish with a time of 42.27.
Crockett with a time of 41.68 placed first, and Dallas Life Oak Cliff came in second with 42.26, beating the Bulldogs by one-hundredth of a second.
Black, who ran the first leg, got a clean start.
“I came out good,” Black said.
Jackson carried the baton next.
“Dee and I had a decent handoff, it could have been better,” Jackson said.
Williams kept it going.
“My handoff was good,” Williams said. “I tried my best to catch the boy ahead of me.”
Johnson had the same problem.
“I tried to catch that boy from Crockett, but he was too fast,” Johnson said. “But I tried my best to go get him.”
Tierrani Johnson represented the Lady Dogs at state having finished second in the girl’s discus competition. Although she is only a freshman, Johnson placed seventh in Austin.
“I was surprised,” Tierrani Johnson said. “I wasn’t nervous or anything. I was confident like it was a regular meet.”
Tierrani suffered an unfortunate penalty during the competition.
“On my best throw, I scratched,” Tierrani said. “I would have finished fourth.”
She likes her chances for 2020.
“I feel great, I really do,” Tierrani said. “Most of the competition is moving on. Four of them were seniors and four of them juniors.”
Her coach agrees.
“I absolutely expect Tierrani to be back in Austin next year,” Coach Stephen Young, who coaches boys and girls shot put and discus, predicted.
Young noted Tierrani uses a different technique than most of the field.
“Right now she does something out of the ordinary, just to fit her body style,” Young said. “She doesn’t spin. She throws more South African style, just step and throw.”
TAKING THE GOOD
Whether they return to Austin for another state championship or not, all carried home a unique experience.
“It was great to be in a stadium that size,” Jackson said. “We had really never seen a stadium that big, filled with that many people.”
“With all the people there, I just wanted to show out,” Williams said.
“I’d like to do it again,” Black, a junior, said.
“It was fun, going as a freshman,” Tierrani Johnson said. “I’m planning to go back next year.”
Standing on the platform as the state AAA Bronze Medal holders was a bittersweet experience, they said.
“Coming from Regionals and Area, we are used to winning,” Jackson, who has committed to play football for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville next season, said. “We knew it was going to be good competition. It was good to be on the podium. Not a lot of teams made that. We took the good from it.”
“It felt good,” Williams said. “I would like to have won first place, but everything happens for a reason. It was a blessing to be there.”
Jackson found a sense of fulfillment the moment provided.
“In football and basketball we never made past a certain round in the playoffs,” Jackson said. “In track we finally made it to the championship. It just shows the kind of speed and talent we have in Jefferson.”
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