By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Buck Wilson of Commerce won gold and silver medals this weekend at the state meet while Rains pole vaulter Charlotte Brown won over a lot of hearts.
Wilson took the Class 2A triple jump title late on Friday night after enduring a two-hour storm delay. Then the Commerce senior returned on Saturday afternoon to finish second in the 300-meter hurdles.
Brown received a standing ovation from many of the fans at Mike A. Myers Stadium after becoming the first legally blind athlete to ever compete at the University Interscholastic League State Track and Field Championships, placing eighth in the Class 3A pole vault and then received the 2013 Section 6 National High School Spirit of Sport Award during a special ceremony on the infield. Joining Brown on the infield were her family and friends from Emory.
Wilson leaped 47 feet 10 3/4 inches on his second attempt to capture the triple jump, though competing in less than ideal conditions following the storm delay.
“It’s a big relief,” he said. “I was working hard all week.”
Wilson said the conditions were tough “but I had to fight through it.”
He won by about five inches over Tatum’s Jordan Nelson, who had beaten Wilson at the region meet. The distances was only about two inches off what Wilson jumped last year when he finished second in the 3A triple jump.
Wilson dipped under 39 seconds for the first time in the 300 hurdles, clocking a time of 38.80 to finish about .4 behind winner Colton Chadbourne of Winona (38.44).
“I broke 39, I’m happy,” said Wilson.
Wilson accomplished his pre-race goal in the 300 hurdles, winning a medal.
“I just try my best and hope for the best,” he said.
Wilson is headed Southeast Missouri State University to play football and says he has no plans to continue his track and field career.
Brown, who is a sophomore, cleared the first three heights of the pole vault competition, 9-6, 10-0 and 10-6 without a miss but missed three times at 11 feet. She cleared 11-6 at the region meet in Commerce to earn her state berth.
“I had a little bit of an off day today,” Brown said. “I wasn’t sad.”
Brown noted the hundreds of state athletes who wished they could have competed at state but didn’t make it. Her first appearance at state also didn’t faze Brown, who is a veteran of junior track and field competition.
“I’m used to pressure,” she said. “All the noise and everything. I’m used to it. It was a good day.”
Trevor Hemphill of Lone Oak trimmed more than two seconds off his time from regional to finish fifth in the 2A boys 800-meter run. Hemphill clocked a 1:57.72. He ran 2:00.56 at regional.
Cody Hammond from Warren won the state title at 1:56.35. Daniel Garza from East Bernard was second with a 1:56.71.
Lone Oak’s Hanah Nichol, who was eighth last year in the Class 2A 3200-meter run, also placed eighth in the 2A girls 1600-meter run on Saturday. Nichol, running in some warm and very humid conditions, ran a 5:48.13. She clocked a 5:41.58 at regional.
Ann Marie Dunlap of Crawford won with a 5:10.95.
Grant Russell from Rains had a problem with his form in the Class 3A triple jump but still finished fifth with a best of 44-10 3/4 on his first attempt. Russell fouled on his next four attempts and then went 42-11 1/2 on his last try.
Trevonte Highs of Yoakum won at 48-5.
J’Kaylee Clark from Farmersville ran out of energy at the end of the Class 2A 400-meter dash, finishing eighth in 1:02.26.
Payton Baker from Gunter won at 56.58, with Re’Jana Ellison of Hearne finishing second with a 57.54.