St. Thomas High School may have been the headliner among area track teams with regard to state qualifiers, but the Eagles were not the only ones to make some noise at recent regional meets.
Between St. Thomas and St. Pius X in TAPPS 6A and Lutheran High North in TAPPS 3A, there will be 20 individuals and six relay teams from area private schools competing this weekend at the TAPPS state meet, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Midway ISD's Panther Stadium in Hewitt. The top four finishers in each regional event qualified.
St. Thomas will send 14 individuals to the 6A meet as well as all three boys relay teams as it looks to win its second state title in three years after claiming the crown in 2019.
Leading the way for the Eagles is Marquis Kiatta, who was the regional champion in the boys triple jump with a distance of 43 feet, 5 inches and finished third in the long jump at 20-6.75. Kiatta also ran the lead legs for the Eagles’ regional champion relay teams in the 400 meters (43.48 seconds) and 800 (1:32.99).
Heriberto Villegas was the individual 800 champion with a time of 1:58.75, while Andre Meza was the regional high jump winner after clearing 6 feet.
St. Thomas’ boys 1,600 relay team of Villegas, Joseph Romero, Luke Anigbogu and Cameron Bonner was the regional champ in a time 3:27.62. Anigbogu also ran the anchor leg for the Eagles’ 400 and 800 relay teams.
Lutheran High North will send five individuals and two relay teams to the 3A state meet, with Xavier Neal once again shining as one of TAPPS 3A’s brightest stars at the regional competition. He won the boys 200 with a time of 22.77 and placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 42-1.75. He also anchored the Lions’ 400 relay team that was the regional champion in a time of 44.76, as well as the 800 relay team that finished second in 1:35.19.
Marvin Robinson Jr. finished second at the regional meet in the high jump to make it to state, clearing 6-2. Dylan Treat is headed to the state meet after a third-place finish in the 100 in 11.89.
For the Lady Lions, Hailey Wilson is headed to state after a second-place finish the 100 hurdles with a time of 18.16. Sydney Cassens also advanced after a third-place finish in the shot put with a distance 30-6.
For St. Pius X, Nethaneel Lolo is on his way to the 6A state meet after finishing third in the boys 100 with a time of 11.80. The Lady Panthers’ 800 relay is also headed to Hewitt on the heels of a fourth-place regional finish in 1:53.32.