State high jump champion Blake Aragon is already looking forward to the possibility of topping himself next year.
The Stephenville junior cleared 6 feet, 8 inches to win the Class 4A boys high jump crown last Friday in Austin. The last state track and field champion for the Stephenville boys was in 2001 when Clayton Harmon won the Class 4A state shot put crown. The SHS girls track program had a back-to-back individual state champ when Bayleigh Chaviers won the 800-meter run in 2013 and 2014.
The other three state qualifiers for Stephenville were girls — seniors Nadine Arredondo in the discus and Kelsee Ponder in the 100-meter dash, and junior Jordan Carter in high jump.
Aragon, whose personal best is the 6-10 mark he had in the District 8-4A meet, said that as a senior next season he will be aiming at an even greater height.
“I knew once I did 6-8, I wanted to go for 7 feet or 7-plus,” Aragaon said Monday of the state competition.
Aragon also said he was confident he would prevail over Navasota’s Ronnie Jackson — the eventual runner-up, at 6-7. Aragon knew that Jackson’s personal best coming into the state meet was 6-6.
“My emotions were running pretty high because me and that kid battled it out,” Aragon said. “I knew I had prepared for it, so I was pretty happy with the outcome.”
SHS boys head track and field coach Kreg Kimple also said he felt Aragon would prevail.
“I was confident he would win it if he did what he was does,” Kimple said. “Those other guys had to have PR (personal records) to beat him.
“When he cleared 6-7 as good as he did, I leaned over (to another coach) and said ‘He’s going to win this.’ It was quite an accomplishment.”
The 6-foot, 5-inch Aragon — who stands about 6-8 if you count his hair — cleared 6-8 on his second try. He even joked that the only thing that touched the bar on the successful 6-8 jump was his hair.
“It was very satisfying,” Aragon said. “That was my ultimate goal. My other goal was to beat my record (6-10).”
High jump coach Joe Carter also coached his daughter on her way to a state berth in the girls division, making Stephenville the only school in the state this year with two state high jump qualifiers.
“He cleared 6-8 right off. I knew he was going to medal,” Carter said of Aragon. “That was a cool deal.”
Jordan Carter, along with three other competitors, posted a height of 5-2, but she placed seventh based on number of misses. The state title went to Ally Andress of Glen Rose, at 5-6.
Ponderer was ninth in the girls 100, with a time of 12.20 seconds. The winner, Sha’Carri Richardson of Dallas Carter, finished in 11.28.
“There was eight-tenths of a second difference between first and ninth place,” SHS head girls track coach Mike Copeland said, “When you get down there (at the state meet), everybody’s fast — even Kylee. She’s a pretty good competitor. She wants to win. That’s what made her great.”
Arredondo’s throw of 115 feet, 4 inches, put her in eighth place. Ebony Wolridge of Giddings won the gold medal with an effort of 138-7.
Copeland said of the three girls, “I’m sure they were disappointed they didn’t medal, but I know they are proud of themselves for getting to state.”