Medal stand smile

Kilgore High School’s Cameron Jackson (right) took third place in the 100 meter dash at the UIL State Track & Field Championships last weekend in Austin, one of three locals to compete in the event. (Photo courtesy of PHILLIP LANE)

Kilgore High School’s Cameron Jackson medaled in what will go down as one of the most storied sessions of 100 meter dash contests in the history of the University Interscholastic League’s State Track & Field Championships.

The UIL holds its king-of-all-track-meets each year at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, and Jackson earned a third-place finish in the Class 4A boys 100 meter dash on Saturday evening. Jackson finished in 10.72 seconds, good for the bronze medal behind Stafford’s Ryan Martin (10.34 seconds) and Taylor’s Dushon Orr (10.70).

He finished seventh in the 200, one of the final races of the night, finishing up in 21.98 seconds in a contest in which the top seven finishers (obviously, incuding Cameron) all finished within a second of each other. The winner was Houston Wheatley’s Robert Gregory (21.12 seconds).

Stealing the headlines – and not just the state headlines – was Matthew Bolling of 6A’s Strake Jesuit of Houston, who set a new national record in the 100 meter dash. Bolling’s record time of 10.13 seconds was obviously the gold medal-winner in the event, and broke the old record – 10.15 seconds – set by Greenville’s Henry Neal back in 1990.

Bolling, just a junior, also put on a show in the boys 6A mile relay. Running the final leg of the event, Bolling trailed the leader by at least 30 yards, but took the handoff and out-ran everyone to the finish line, helping Jesuit to another gold medal.

Joining Jackson in Austin to represent KHS was Calvin Woodside, who was the latest in a recent line of Kilgore throwers to reach the big event. Woodside competed in the Class 4A boys shot put. He finished sixth, a best of 48 feet, 2 ¼ inches, or 14.68 meters. Darren Wilmore of River Oaks Castleberry was first (51 feet, 2 ½ inches), and the fifth-place finisher only topped Woodside by 5 ¾ inches.

Leverett’s Chapel’s Yesenia Avalos represented the Lions in the state’s brightest spotlight. Avalos ran in the Class 1A girls 100 meter hurdles on Friday, and earned a fourth-place finish, running it in 16.31 seconds. Iredell’s Vivi Benitez won the event (15.74 seconds); Channing’s Chesna Harbert was second (16.13), and Garden City’s Jordan Driver, third (16.29).


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