Memorial runners have gold on their minds as state meet nears

Published 12:18 am Thursday, May 2, 2024

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For most high school athletes, receiving a medal at the regional track meet would be lifetime highlight.

That’s not how the Memorial Titans 4×200 relay squad looked at coming in second place at the regional meet more than a week ago.

Despite coming in second and qualifying for this weekend’s state meet in Austin, the Titans were anything but enthused about their silver medal.

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“We didn’t celebrate that,” senior Daevon Iles said. “We didn’t even stand on the podium after that. Second place is first loser to me.”

Sophomore Amante Martin said he didn’t speak after the 4×200 relay, but added making it to state was a goal; just not the goal.

“It is really special,” Martin said. “We have come along way and worked hard to get here.”

Martin competes on both relay teams that are competing this weekend.

He is joined by Iles, Semaj Pierre and Brandon Richards on the 4×200 team and Jakelbe Joseph, Matthew Christian and Richards on the 4×400 run.

“We might be competitors on the football field and track, but when we are with each other, we are brothers,” Iles said. “If you want to be successful, you have to have the people around you that are going to motivate you and push you to do better. After we run, we talk about who ran the slowest split or whatever.”

While they are competitive with each other, there is little doubt on the team who is fastest.

When asked, Martin and Iles smiled and gave the same answer, “The freshman,” Brandon Richards.

“That is a dog right there,” Iles said

Martin said Titans Coach Darrell Granger previously warned the team that a freshman was going to put them on notice.

“At the beginning of the season, Coach said a freshman was coming for me,” Martin said. “I knew who he was but I didn’t know he was a track guy. I thought I would smoke him. After a few weeks, I saw him running and picking his legs up and I knew he was different.”

Granger added that Richards has the tools to be one of the greats to come from Port Arthur. The coach said it is rare to have a student-athlete that young that can be successful and know how to handle it among older peers.

Both races take place Friday at Mike A. Myers Track & Soccer Stadium in Austin.