BOYS TRACK: Titan boys dominate district; Memorial girls second

Published 7:41 pm Saturday, April 7, 2018

BEAUMONT — An April Saturday sharply turned colder after rain pushed the District 22-5A running finals into the afternoon, but no wind could slow down the trademark Port Arthur speed.

“Coach says, ‘Leave it all on the track, I don’t care if it’s raining, snowing or anything,’” Memorial junior hurdler JaVontae Hopkins said.

Memorial won 10 of 14 boys finals over the two-day meet (Thursday and Saturday) on its way to a district team championship. The Titans had 202.5 points, beating second-place Nederland by 73. Port Neches-Groves was third with 92.

Millicent Neveu of Memorial, left, clears the final hurdle on her way to winning the 300-meter hurdles in the District 22-5A meet Saturday in Beaumont. Next to Neveu is second-place Malaysia St. Clair of Central. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

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Memorial’s girls team finished second with 106 points to Beaumont Central’s 152. Nederland was third with 105.

Hopkins earned two of Memorial’s wins, sweeping the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. Hopkins missed last year’s districts with a hamstring pull, but qualified for the 5A Region III meet based on an earlier performance that year.

“I wanted to be a district champ,” Hopkins said, “so I worked all week and tried to be that.

Hopkins beat teammate Harold Mosley for the 110-meter gold (14.80 seconds to 14.84). Kyler Carreon of PNG came in third.

Hopkins was more dominant in the 300, where he ran 40 seconds flat. Harrison Seals of Central, who had the fastest preliminary time, was second at 41.31, and Memorial’s Cornell Jessie was third.

���For JaVontae to redeem himself and accomplish this, this weekend, is very good for him,” Titans coach Darrell Granger said.

Memorial won every sprint except the 400-meter dash. Senior Elijah Hines was the only sub-11 second runner in the 100 meters (10.97), with Kevon Latulas of Nederland coming in second. Latulas had the fastest time in the preliminary round at 10.71.

Sophomore Ireon Brown won the 200 by almost a full second over fellow Titan Michael Odoms (21.31 to 22.28). Preston Hughes of PNG came in third.

Memorial took the top two spots in the 800 meters. Tyvonne Allen (2 minutes, 3.88 seconds) edged teammate Lamont Freeman Jr. by 0.11 second for the win.

“Tyvonne came on board last season, and he’s done a real good job pulling his weight this season,” Granger said of the senior, who transferred from Nederland. “He’s come out with a mission. He wanted to be a district champion.”

Blake Mortera, the Nederland sophomore who was second in the 22-5A cross country meet to Lumberton’s Trent Stoute last October, won a close 3,200-meter race over Stoute by 0.31 second. Mortera, who won the 3,200 meters Thursday ran 10:28.37, beating his seed time by almost 14 seconds.

The Titans’ 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams took care of business, turning in winning times of 41.05 and 1:27.61. Nederland and PNG were second and third, respectively, in both races.

The Memorial 4×400 team also was victorious by 4.41 seconds in the 4×400. The Titans’ time was 3:24.59.

Just 0.42 separated winner Aniya Duhon from fourth place in the girls’ 400-meter dash. Ta’Shina Williams of PNG was second at 61.96, with Ny’Reonna Smith of Memorial third at 62.06.

Smith was runner-up in the 800 meters at 2:30.47, with Rylee Bolser of Nederland coming in third.

District cross country champ Rachel Morrison of Nederland took gold in the 1,600 meters with a 5:46.67 run, 10 seconds ahead of second-place Megan Wilkinson of Lumberton. Claire Broussard of Nederland came in third.

Memorial, PNG and Central battled in the girls’ relays. After Central won the 4×100 with Memorial second and PNG third, PNG’s Emetrice Mouton made a charge down the front straightway to earn the 4×200 victory by 0.32 over Central. Memorial was third, 0.43 behind PNG’s 1:46.12.

But Ozen took gold in the 4×400, with Memorial second and Central third.

Millicent Neveu gave Memorial another win in the 300 hurdles in 47.76. PNG’s Jacie Droddy and Kendall Holman came in second and third in the 100, and Coreyanna Gorrer of Memorial was second in the 200.

Qualifiers from the district meet go to the 5A area meet at Barbers Hill on April 19.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews



About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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