The Woodlands Championship Coaching Staff
The Woodlands High School is your Texas UIL 6A State Champions this year....again! Saturday night, in Austin, Texas, The Highlanders took the Mike A. Myers Stadium and turned it into their own backyard. Winning the 6A state track title to along with their UIL 6A Cross Country state title made them the first team in the largest classification to win both in the same school year in 39 years.
This was a moment of surprise to many fans in the stands. Not many had The Woodlands as a team with a chance to win the 6A Title. However, this was no accident. The Highlanders' coaching staff put in the time to work with their athletes and had them well prepared for the evening. The State track meet is about opportunities. Rankings, expectations, and everything on paper based on personal best times and distances mean absolutely nothing when the time comes to compete. Preparation and execution are what matters and then taking what the meet gives you based on what the others do or do not do.
You don't win a state title without being prepared. If you look at the staff and their organization at The Woodlands, you can see that being prepared is one thing they almost always are.
Executing is exactly what The Woodlands athletes did. The performances were kicked off when distance star and back to back cross country state team title winner WILLIAM HUNSDALE scored two points with his 5th place finish in the 3200m. With a win in the Shot Put by ADRIAN PIPERI and a 7th place finish by PATRICK PIPERI, the team added 10 points. It was in the Long Jump where the big hit came. Senior CECIL GREGG had what was the meet of his life, and maybe the most important piece to the championship pie. With one jump left, Gregg was sitting in fourth place. That's when he pops off the winning 24-1 jump. That gave his team a six point boost with the first place 10 points instead of the four point it was looking at, before his last jump (They ended up winning by six points, 60-54.... i'm just saying).
The long jump gave the team just the kind of momentum providing performance you need at the State Championships. From there, the track guys took over using that momentum. The Woodlands sprinters took over and the dubs kept pouring in every time the Highlanders were on the track. Yes, I said The Woodlands sprinters took over. Do not let Coach Hamilton hear you doubt their sprinters, trust me! He is justified in his declaration of his team's sprint abilities. Junior KESEAN CARTER slowly stepped into his blocks, but everything else he did was done with pure power and speed. In a matter of seconds, 10.32 to be exact, Carter was on his way to accept his first place medal for the 100m and 10 more points for his team.
Then the 4x200 group of Ethan Bonner, Jacob Barrett, Jake Lanier, and 100m Champion Kesean Carter teamed together to continue their season long improvements. Their 4x200 relay improved week by week to earn their way to the State meet. Once they stepped onto the University of Texas track, they did it one more time. The dropped their time and saved their best performance for last, by busting the race wide open running a new 6A State record of 1:23.81, which is also a U.S. ALL TIME top 5 mark.
That ended up being all they would need as they totaled 60 points to take the title over a tough George Ranch squad who put up a valiant effort. The Woodlands put on a preparation and execution clinic and are the Texas 2017 UIL Boys 6A State Champions.