What We'll Miss At State: Klein Forest And 6A Challengers

Klein Forest senior Maurice Westmoreland warms up at the 2019 Texas Relays

In 2019, there was the once in a generation star who crossed over sports, countries, as well as generations. But there was also a team who was there in the midst of everything who moved quietly and correctly, kinda like the Navy Seals

That team was Klein Forest (KF) and there is little doubt that they were absolutely stealth last season. In the end, they hoisted their team trophy with the pride and elation all champions do. There is a saying that the hardest thing to do is win a championship not repeating, and there are far more one time winners than there are repeat winners.

Try telling that to KF. They came out this year with an agenda and they were anything but quiet about it this time.

The Golden Eagles started the 2020 season just about as fast as one could imagine. At their first meet of the year, KF ran extremely fast. They ran 41.14 in the 4x100 Relay, 1:24.52 in the 4x200 Relay, and 3:15.96 in the 4x400 Relay. Those marks could win the state meet in just about any state in the nation and they were able to do it in week one.

As the season continued, they kept proving their abilities. When the season was called the second week of March, they still had the #7 ranked 4x100 Relay in the state (41.09) and the top national times in the 4x200 (1:24.52) and in the 4x400 (3:14.81).

KF legitimately had a shot at winning all three relays at the state meet and scoring 60 points, 19 more than their 41 that won last year. 

They also had big point potential coming from their All-State Thrower Maurice Westmoreland. Last year, Westmoreland contributed to the team title by placing fourth in the Discus and fifth in the Shot Put. His scoring potential was even bigger this season as he is the top ranked discus thrower nationally with his 204-6 in the Discus and No. 5 with his 61-5.5 in the Shot Put.

Add sprinters Ahmonte Watkins (200m) and Auhmad Robinson (100m-400m) along with jumper Adrian Flowers and the points could have been higher this year.

2020 Challengers

The route to the 2020 state championship repeat wasn't going to be easy.  KF would have some serious contenders they'd have to deal with.

The Woodlands (TWHS) won the two UIL 6A state titles prior to KF.  TWHS and KF would have faced off at the Region 2-6A championships giving a prequel between the two squads. The Highlanders' push would have come on the hinges of possibly having three high jumpers qualify for the state meet. Carter Bajoit is the 6A runner-up and the state leader this year; his jumps crew includes senior Adam Clark and sophomore Turey Stoudemire who are both tied for the No.5 rank in the state with their 6-8 SB jumps.

TWHS could have been on the receiving end of many more points on the track and in the field. Senior distance runners Ethan Hammer and Ryan Cardinal were highly ranked in the 1600m and the 3200m, Joshua English had scoring potential in the 800m, Zach Neuman in the 300H, Caleb Fox in the Shot Put, and the Highlander 4x400 Relay had the potential to make it to state.

Katy Tompkins' season was also looking promising. They had big point potential in distance star Cole Lindhorst who was the 1600m state champ in 2019 and third in the 3200m. With fellow senior Clayton Keys who was third in the 300H and fourth in the long jump last year, he teamed up with Lindhorst to score 26 points at state. 

The Falcons could have also added more points in Austin his season. Junior Gavin Saacke had an opportunity to qualify in the 3200m, David Foster and Taurean Muhammad also had opportunities to score in the sprints as did their 4x100 Relay, and Garrett Mack in the High Jump.

Another Houston area team who had sights on a team trophy and possibly a title was Humble Summer Creek.

Like TWHS in the high jump, Summer Creek (SC) had a three headed monster in the hurdles. Barry Richards, Armann Richardson, and Aaron Davis have all turned the SC track into a flight of top notch hurdlers and they had a shot at getting one or maybe all three to the state meet to get some points.

Sophomore Darius Rainey showed signs of becoming one of the top 800m runners in the state. The Florida transfer had only run 1:56.94 on the short season, but ran a couple of 1:54s last year as a freshman in the Sunshine State. Add the SC 4x400 Relay who had a UIL 6A No.2 ranked 3:17 and they had potential state meet points to add there also.

SC also had some field power too and possible point scorers. Jaden Brooks and Kevin Grubbs in the Discus, Jalan Rivers in the High Jump, and Taylor Leonard in the Long Jump could have given SC some back up in a state title chase.

The boys UIL 6A team title was going to be an awesome race. We will never know how good it was going to be; unfortunately, It took years for the athletes to develop to this point. All teams may look very different next year and the athletes and coaches may never get this opportunity again.