JT 4x100 relay

John Tyler High School's 4x100 relay team (from left), Caleb McMiller, Keandre Ray, Dyvione Patterson and Kitan Crawford are competing in the UIL Class 5A State Track & Field Meet on Friday in Austin.  (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Earlier in the track season John Tyler's 4x100 relay team made headlines around the state and nation with a clocking of 40.66 seconds in the Lancaster Meet.

At that time it was the best time in the country.

Since that meet, the Lions have been dashing to the finish, but have not matched that mark again.

On Friday, the foursome of junior Kitan Crawford, senior Dyvionne Patterson, senior Keandre Ray and senior Caleb McMiller will do their best to match or beat that mark in the UIL Class 5A Track & Field State Meet in Austin. Freshman Jakaydin Williams is the alternate.

"We had the best time in the nation midway through the season, but we are probably right now ninth in the nation," JT coach Torey Elder said. "This is one of the top meets in the nation and I fully expect to win in Class 6A and 5A it will take 39.9 or 39.8."

JT's Fab Four are scheduled to run around 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Mike A. Myers Track Complex on the campus of The University of Texas.

The Lions ran in the Texas Relays in Austin earlier this season, clocking in a 42.45 for 15th place. But they expect better this time around at the Texas capital city.

To earn a state bid, JT ran a 40.83 at the Class 5A Region II Meet at UT Arlington. That is the third fastest regional time and the Lions will be in Lane 8. Fort Bend Marshall has the top time at 40.08 and will be in Lane 5, followed by Lancaster (40.59) in Lane 6.

Other entries, along with their times and lane assignments include: Lane 1: San Antonio Veterans Memorial (42.53); Lane 2: Manvel (41.25); Lane 3: Alvin Shadow Creek (40.99); Lane 4: Denton Ryan (40.92); Lane 7: Seguin (42.23) and Lane 9: Aledo (41.54).

Last year, JT competed in the Class 6A meet and placed seventh in a time of 40.37. The relay consisted of Crawford, Ke'Tavion Humber (who just made All-Southland Conference running track at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as a freshman), Michael Givens-Washington (now at Hardin-Simmons University playing football) and McMiller.

Katy Seven Lakes won the 6A relay in 2018 with a 39.80. Mansfield Legacy won the 5A relay at 40.17. Fort Bend Marshall was second at 40.35. Returners from that foursome include Bryson Stubblefield, Devon Achane and Korey King. Sylvester Labome ran last year, but is an alternate this season. Dalevon Campbell rounds out the relay.

The Lions are confident last year's experience will help for this year. 

"We run for each other," said Crawford, who runs the first leg. 

McMiller, who has signed to run track at South Plains College in Levelland, will also be competing in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The anchor leg said the Lions have formed a good relay because of their practice habits and that they "give Coach Elder 110 percent each practice and each meet."

Ray was an alternate last year and gets to perform on the big stage this time around. He said the Lions are a good relay because they are good teammates.

Patterson, along with competing in the relay, will run the 300-meter hurdles. 

Both Patterson and McMiller want to do well in the individual events, but the relay is a top priority as it is for their teammates and their school. 

NOTES: The state meet for all classifications is Friday and Saturday. An all-meet ticket is $30 with passes on Friday and Saturday $20 each day. There are also individual session tickets — $12 (adults) and $7 (students, ages 2 and above). Coaches' tickets, with identification, is $20. ... The Class 1A, 3A, 5A and wheel chair meets are scheduled for Friday with Class 2A, 4A and 6A on Saturday. ... The field events are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and the 3200-meters at 9:20 a.m. each day and running events are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. each day. ... On Friday in the running events, it is 1A girls/boys followed by 3A girls/boys followed by 5A girls/boys with the exception of hurdles when all girls classes run and then the boys. 



Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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