Memorial track & field’s top performers eyeing status as Texas’ best
Two seniors will compete at the state track and field meet in Austin next month after qualifying in the regional round this weekend.
Senior Maleek Jones qualified for triple jump and high jump with a person records for both events.
In the triple jump, Jones recorded 47’7.75”, which landed him in second place. Jones’ record of 6’6” was good enough for gold.
“The kids that have done everything they were supposed to do throughout the season have qualified for the state meet,” Memorial track coach Darrell Granger said. “That is always the goal. If you do the right things throughout the season, you are going to benefit in the end.”
Jones said this is the first year for him to compete on the varsity track team.
“Going to state has always been a goal for all of the sports I have played,” he said. “I never thought track would be the one.”
Jones played for the Titans on the football field and basketball court, as well.
He said the hardest part of the season was overcoming an early quad injury.
“Maleek has been on a consistent upward (trajectory) all season,” Granger said. “Throughout the year, he has been grinding it out, and it paid off this past weekend.”
Memorial’s Tre’Vonte “Tink” Caines earned the gold for shot put after a throw of 58 feet, which is currently the longest in 5A, making the Titans senior the favorite to win state.
“We all know Tink has been consistent all year with his shot put,” Granger said. “As long as he stayed in the 57-59 range, I always thought that he would be one of the top throwers in the state.”
Caines said he is not satisfied with a state qualification.
“There is still more work to be done,” he said.
Caines said his biggest challenge of the season was not getting a “big head.”
“You never know what type of competition you have each week,” he said.
Granger said the team would not be as successful as it has been without the work of the assistant coaches.
“I can’t take credit for what they have done,” he said. “They have done a great job of getting them prepared to compete for a state title next week.”
Both of Memorial’s relay teams failed to qualify for state with a pair of fifth-place finishes. Granger said he hopes the young group is able to learn from the experience.
“Region III is a difficult region to advance from,” he said. “I just told them we have to remember this feeling and let that fuel us for next season. It is a grind. You have to be committed 110 percent. This region is no cakewalk.”
The state meet is May 7-8 at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin.
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