Madisonville track teams finish with pair of bronze medals

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AUSTIN -- The Madisonville Mustang track teams traveled to Austin to take on the UIL State Track and Field meet in Class 4A at Mike A. Myers Stadium over the weekend. Madisonville came away with two bronze medal finishes as the Lady Mustang 4x200-meter track team took third in their race while Johnny Simpson placed third in his state meet debut in the 200-meter dash.

The Lady Mustangs had two relay teams qualify for the state meet. In their first race, the team of Mitzi Holiday, Garlanesha Gilbert, Tra’Dayja Smith and Tyana Brown placed sixth at 48.22 seconds.

Bay City’s relay team edged them out, taking fifth at 48.19 seconds. Placing first was Dallas Carter’s relay team at 45.96 seconds, beating a Conference 4A Record they set just last year at 46.23 seconds. Kennedale’s relay team placed second at 47.58 seconds while Waxachie Life’s team took third at 47.63 seconds.

The team improved in the 4x200-meter race, as Tra’Dayja Smith, Jyah Burns, Garlanesha Gilbert and Tyana Brown placed third at 1:41.82. Brown noted that their mindset was to medal in the 4x200-meter, especially after their finish in the earlier race.

“We matured,” Brown said of the relay team. Brown, a senior, ended her track career at the state meet as she’s headed to the University of Texas-Austin, though not for track.

Meanwhile, Smith, another senior, will be headed to Trinity Valley to play basketball.

The two youngsters on the relay team, Burns and Gilbert, talked about wanting to get back to this big stage.

“[We] just got to get stronger and better,” Gilbert, a sophomore, said. “We just have to stay focused and keep our grades up.”

Burns is a freshman, making her state-track debut.

On the boys’ side, the 4x200-meter relay team of Kurt Gray, Aaron Nellums, Cornelius Merchant and Johnny Simpson placed ninth in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:28.84. They were edged out by Freeport Brazosport’s team at 1:28.05. Taking first in the meet was Kilgore’s foursome who finished at 1:26.67. Atlanta’s team placed second with an official time of 1:26.67. Cuero’s relay team took bronze at 1:27.04.

Finishing out the meet for the Mustangs was junior Johnny Simpson who also made his state-meet debut. Simpson came away with bronze in the 200-meter dash, finishing at 21.90 seconds. The junior noted that he matched his expectations and wanted to reach even further heights next year.

“It was first, second or third and I got third. Hopefully I make it back next year and make it better,” he said. “I just have to work a little harder, there’s always room for improvement..

Silsbee’s Kalon Barnes took first with a time of 21.48 seconds. Celina’s Andrea Norman placed second at 21.80 seconds.

The attendance for Saturday’s event at Mike A. Myers Stadium was 32,497.

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