By Clay Whittington

The Belton Journal

Kendrick Jones Jr. will defend his state title.

Last year, in his debut at the University Interscholastic League Class 5A Track & Field State Meet, the then-freshman made history by completing the 200-meter run in 20.57 seconds to earn Lake Belton’s first state championship.

Now, he has an opportunity to do it again. In fact, he has two chances to repeat the feat.

With a time of 21.04, Jones placed first in the 200 at last week’s Region III meet, posting a time of 21.04 at Humble, and he was not done.

Additionally, Jones won the long jump with a mark of 23 feet, 2 inches.

At regionals, the top two finishers in each event qualified for the state meet, which will be held at Austin’s Mike A. Myers Stadium on May 3. A wild card competitor – the next best finisher from across the four regional meets – will also advance to state

Broncos junior Xavier Wells has the best opportunity at earning a wild-card berth after clearing 6-6 to place third in the high jump at the regional meet.

In the girls division, junior Abigail Rydberg will represent Lake Belton at state after earning a silver medal in the pole vault at regionals. She cleared 11-9.

As a team, the Broncos accumulated 26 points to place eighth overall.

Caleb Loper, a junior, had a ninth-place discus throw measuring 138-0, while sophomore Carson Yandell was 10th (12-6) in the pole vault and senior Adam Walden was 11th (47-10) in the shot put to complete the Broncos’ regional showing.

Belton senior distance runner Briac Ybanez was also in attendance, placing eighth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:26.69.

Fort Bend Marshall won the regional title with 73 points, beating out Killeen Shoemaker (2nd, 64) and Richmond Randle (3rd, 63).

Along with Rydberg, junior Chelsie Miller (7th, 400, 1:00.71) and the Lady Broncos’ 800 relay team (8th, 1:45.43) also raced at regionals. The quartet was composed of Nylah Berrian, Bella Garcia, Aleya Russell and Elianna Watson.

For the Lady Tigers, junior Olivia Brillhart was fifth (11:33.92) in the 3,200, and senior teammate Mykel Green was ninth (36-1¾) in the triple jump.

The Lady Broncos tied for 21st (8), and the Lady Tigers tied for 26th (2).

College Station emerged with the regional championship, scoring 72 points to edge out Fort Bend Marshall (2nd, 70), while Killeen Chaparral was third (42).