The boys team won State in 2018 with the likes of Kesean Carter (UH football), Ethan Bonner (Stanford football) and Jake Lanier (Texas A&M track) leading the way. That trio brought a football mentality to the oval, having been to the State Title game in football in 2017.
The Highlanders have that look again with a very balanced team featuring relays, long distance, throws and hurdles.
Pablo Lessarri and Ben Reyes lead the long-distance runners. Lessari has the No. 2 time Texas in the 1600 meters and No. 5 in the 800 meters. Reyes isn't far behind.
Eugenio Ceballos has one of the top times in the 300mH in the Region, and Mitchell Blakeslee (Air Force football-signee) is one of the top throwers with the fourth best discus and sixth best shot put in the State to date.
So, it all comes down to points, right? Meaning the relay teams.
The Highlanders best time in the 4x200 came at the TSU Relays. It’s the fourth-best Class 6A Region II time behind Klein Forest, Duncanville and Killeen Shoemaker and seventh-best time in Class 6A overall. The 4x400 team also has the third-best Class 6A Region II time behind Klein Forest and College Park.
The relay squads include Bryce Cooper, Ethan King, Tyler Honeyman, Brady Carlin and Aden Self.
“Our main goal for the season is to make it to State,” said Bryce Cooper, who also has the team's top 100m time. “That would be a great accomplishment, living up to what our team did back in 2018. We just have to believe in ourselves and not worry about what other people say about us achieving those goals. It’s going to take a lot of determination to beat teams like Klein Forest and Duncanville in our Region.”
“I remember last year’s Regional Meet and missing State by one place,” Tyler Honeyman said. “Me and Ethan King promised ourselves that we would be back and faster. We got our first taste of KF and Duncanville at the TSU Relays a few weeks back and we were right there next to them.”
The four aforementioned all played football for the Highlanders last Fall and were coincidently knocked out by Duncanville in the third round of the playoffs. They have a score to settle.
“Football helps us in track by staying disciplined and holding each other accountable,” Cooper said.
“We make tremendous bonds in football and that carries over to track,” Honeyman said.
The Highlanders will step back into the starting blocks this Saturday at the College Park Invitational. Stay tuned.
"Every one likes being an underdog, because hungry dogs run faster," senior Brady Carlin said.