Memorial, Port Neches-Groves runners wrap up successful track season

Published 12:18 am Friday, May 10, 2024

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Runners from Memorial and Port Neches-Groves produced solid showings at the Texas 5A state track meet last weekend.

The Memorial boys 2x400m and 4x400m relay teams each finished fifth, while PNG’s Morgan Campbell finished sixth in the 3,200m and seventh in the 1,600m.

While the Titans teams had goals of coming away from Austin with medals, Head Coach Darrell Granger said the student-athletes can hold their heads high for what they accomplished and look forward for what is to come.

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“I think the kids learned a lot from being in that type of environment,” he said. “I know in time, it will be a better result. I told them to remember what fifth place feels like. They were disappointed, but they still felt good about themselves. They made a big jump from last season to this season. They know they are capable of running at a high level in those types of meets.”

Amante Martin, Daevon Iles, Semaj Pierre and Brandon Richards competed in the 4×200. Martin joined Jakelbe Joseph, Matthew Christian and Richards on the 4×400 run.

Granger said the core of the group returns to Memorial next season, and many are already hungry to get back to the state meet in 2025.

“We are doing spring football right now, and they are telling me how much they miss track practice and how they are looking forward to a new group of kids joining them,” he said.

“They have confidence they can get the job done. My job is going to be a little easier next year. I won’t have to coach as hard to get them prepared to do what they need to do, because they will have the leadership we will need.”

Port Neches-Groves

Jessi Farmer, who coached Morgan at PNG, said the sophomore runner can hold her head high coming off her second consecutive state meet appearance.

“I think everything went really well for her,” Farmer said. “She (had a personal record) in the 3,200m, which was another school record. For her mile (1,600m), she got seventh place and pretty much tied her school record. She was a few milliseconds off her record there. She went out and had fun. It was a really good weekend for her. That is what is most important. She was in really good spirits. She felt like she did a really good job. We couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Campbell was recently named PNG’s Athlete of the Year at the school’s awards banquet.

Like the Memorial athletes, Farmer said Campbell is eager to go back to state next year.

“Since she has competed in two events, she is going to want to stay competing in at least two events,” Farmer said. “She is going to continue to use that to push her through next season.”