Track athletes receive state rings
DECATUR — When the announcement was made during the 2018 1A State Track Meet in Mineral Springs May 2 that the Decatur Lady Bulldog track team won its second consecutive state championship, the town rejoiced. Five months later, the track stars were honored one last time during the Decatur-Augusta Homecoming football game at Bulldog Stadium in Decatur Oct. 12.
The girls’ team, along with the champion boys’ 800-meter run and 4x400-meter relay team, stood before the home crowd to receive their championship track rings. Presenting the rings to the team was Shane Holland, Decatur’s track coach.
Seth Rich, Johnny Brandon, Jimmy Mendoza and Taylor Haisman received their rings for winning the gold medal in the 4x400-meter relay, the second such title for Decatur since moving to the 1A conference in 2017.
Haisman ended his high school track career with not only gold in the relays but also the 800 meter run, his second title in the 1A and his eleventh career state championship.
After the boys received their rings, it was time for the girls to step forward and be recognized. In 2017, the Lady Bulldog track team won the first ever state track title. The closest any Decatur track team came to this accomplishment was the 1999 Lady Bulldog cross country team which brought home the gold in
The challenge for the Lady Bulldogs was to repeat this feat a second time, something which was tricky at best. But the 2018 Lady Bulldog track team pulled off yet another miracle, winning its second straight championship.
Leading the team was Desi Meek, who won two consecutive 100- and 400-meter hurdle titles. Destiny Mejia entered the ring last year as a first-time competitor in the high jump and won the gold medal. She duplicated her performance again this year, taking the title for the second year in a row.
The only other returning member of the 2017 team was Paige Vann, who won her second straight title as a relay runner.
The remainder of the team, some who have never competed in a track event, were given their championship rings for their part in the win. Every team member contributed points to the total score of 93 points, which was 10 points ahead of the nearest competitor.
Bronwyn Berry and Stephanie Sandoval each competed on the district championship junior high team. Holland entered Berry in the shot put this year and she brought home the bronze medal. Sandoval brought home a gold medal as a member of the relay team with Leticia Fuentes, Abby Tilley and Deysi Rubi.
Together, these eight girls, along with the four boys, represent the very best in the Decatur track program.
Jimmy Mendoza (left) receives his 2018 boys state championship track ring from coach Shane Holland Oct. 12 during the halftime ceremony at Bulldog Stadium in Decatur. Mendoza competed in the boys 4x400 meter relay, which won the title during the 1A state meet at Mineral Springs on May 2.
Taylor Haisman (left) receives his second state championship track ring from his coach Shane Holland at halftime of the Decatur Homecoming game at Bulldogs Stadium in Decatur Oct. 12. In his high school career, Haisman won 11 state championships including the 800 meter run, 4x100, 4x400, and 4x800 meter relays.