By Clay Whittington

The Belton Journal

The area meet will take place today at Magnolia, and plenty of Broncos and Tigers will be in attendance.

After months of practices and competitions, only two meets – area and regionals – separate Belton’s and Lake Belton’s standouts from the upcoming University Interscholastic League Class 5A Track & Field State Meet.

Field events for today’s meet begin at 11 a.m., and running events will start at 4 p.m.

The top four finishers in each event move on to the two-day Region III meet at Humble, beginning April 19.

Lake Belton will be well represented at the event after finishing second at the District 22-5A meet last week.

Competing at Killeen Chaparral, the Broncos amassed 96 points and claimed five gold medals.

Lake Belton sophomore Kendrick Jones Jr. was responsible for three first-place finishes, winning the 100-meter dash in 10.67 seconds, the long jump with a mark of 23 feet, 8 inches and the 200 with a time of 21.42.

Jones is the defending state champion in the 200.

Additionally, junior Xavier Wells (high jump, 6-2) and sophomore Carson Yandell (pole vault, 12-6) won their respective events.

Also claiming medals, the Broncos’ quartet of Adam Constancio, Cavan Pilkington, Zach Summy and Joey Reed were second (3:20.54) in the 1,600 relay, and junior Caleb Loper was third (134-1) in the discus, beating out senior teammate Adam Walden (4th, 124-10). Walden was also fourth (48-2) in the shot put.

The Broncos’ remaining area qualifiers were freshman Keaton Washington (4th, 400, 50.46) and senior Zy’Quayvion Thomas (4th, 300 hurdles, 40.75).

Placing fifth (11.13) in the 100, junior Josh Mallard just missed out on qualifying for area.

Killeen Shoemaker won the boys team title with 197 points, while Killeen (3rd, 88), Chaparral (4th, 61), Belton (5th, 55), Killeen Ellison (6th, 53), Waco University (7th, 49) and Waco (8th, 18) rounded out the final standings.

The Tigers advanced four athletes in seven events.

Briac Ybanez, a senior distance runner, will participate in three events after winning the 1,600 (4:26.66) and the 3,200 (10:01.23) and placing second (1:56.83) in the 800.

He will be joined by junior Logan Lamberte (2nd, pole vault, 12-6), senior Alton McCallum (3rd, 200, 21.88; 4th, 100, 10.92) and senior Wyatt Butler (4th, 110 hurdles, 15.29).

Belton senior Samuel Johnson (5th, discus, 124-5) and sophomore Christian Porter (5th, 400, 50.46) fell just shy of reaching the area meet.