Darius Green had a sinking feeling from the very first race of the District 1-4A track and field championship meet Wednesday afternoon at Benton High School after watching Benton teammate Keith English pull up and not finish the final leg of the 4X200-meter relay.
Green’s worries weren’t necessary.
English’s injury motivated his teammates, who went on to hold of Huntington 165-130 points for the district championship. The Lady Tigers dominated with 224, with Northwood in second with 105 points, to complete a 1-4A Beton sweep.
“I thought we were going to have a blowout, had a bad feeling,” Green said. “But I was proud of the way we kept going.”
Quinci Middlebrooks helped the Lady Tigers wrap up the girls championship early, but she and the rest of the Lady Tigers kept pushing.
“You can never feel like you have it in the bag; you always have to want to win,” Middlebrooks said. “I knew we could do it. We have a great team all around with great runners, throwers and jumpers.”
Green took first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.78. Middlebrooks won the 800-meter run in 2:41.34, the 1,600-meter run in 6:09.04 and the 3,200-meter run in 14:37.90.
“We have to keep practicing and rest up for next week. Take it easy a few days and then have a hard day and recover,” Middlebrooks said. “Look to state.”
Huntington’s Anthony Taylor was first in the 200-meter dash (22.72) and the 400-meter dash (49.05) and a part of the Raiders first-place 4X400- and 4X200-meter relay teams.
“I had my team and coach behind me,” said Taylor, who earned meet MVP on the boys side. “A lot of hard practice helped me get here. I felt good.”
Now, Benton’s sights are set on next week’s 4A regional meet, which will be in Benton and hosted by the Tigers along with West Ouachita. The field events are set for an 11 a.m. start.
“Injuries caught us by surprise today, but we had kids step up,” Benton coach Scott Carroway said. “Wossman is always fast, and West Ouachita is a good team from top to bottom. Huntington is tough too. It will be another competitive meet.”
Evangel’s girls team earned its first district championship in school history Wednesday in the 1-2A meet at North Webster with 158 points. North Webster’s girls team was second with 145. Evangel’s boys team finished in second place behind North Webster (176-168).
“I was really proud,” Evangel coach Byron Dawson said. “We had a lot of great performances and PRs.”
Bossier’s girls edged North DeSoto for the 1-3A championship. The North DeSoto boys won first, holding off the Bossier boys.