San Antonio News and Notes - District Previews

Photo of Brennan's Caila Lyons

The championship season is upon us, and I will delve into the 5A and 6A district previews later, but before that there was a lot of great results from last week. The best performance came from someone who is making the extraordinary appear to be ordinary. Boerne Champion's Elizabeth Leachman entered the university division of the 5,000 meters at the Texas Relays and set a new national high school record of 15:25.27 en route to winning the race.

Hurdle Crew

The San Antonio area hurdlers performed quite well at the Texas Relays. Taft's Malik White took second in Division II of the 110mH with a season best time of 13.71 and he also ran a season best of 38.18 in the 300mH. Darian Abbott (DDS) and Aiden Martinez (Great Hearts Monte Vista) each ran season bests in the 110mH. Abbott clocked a 14.26 in the finals while Martinez ran 14.57 in the prelims. Meanwhile, Isabella Dagrosa of Reagan posted a pair of phenomenal times running 13.90 in the 100mH and 42.10 in the 300mH.

Flying High

The Randolph girls appear to be heading towards another 3A State championship this year and a big part of that has to do with juniors Sophia Bendet and Taylor Nunez. The two were at the Texas Relays in their final tune-up before their district meet on Tuesday. Bendet finished second in the 1600m with a time of 4:47.28 which is #3 in the State this year. Nunez won the Division I 100m with a time of 11.48 and just 0.04 off her State title time from last year. She also finished fourth in the long jump with a mark of 19-7.5. Bendet is currently ranked first in 3A in the 100m, 200m and long jump while Bendet is first in the 800m and 1600m. The two team up on the Ro-Hawks' 4x400m relay team that is also ranked #1 in the State.

Small School Stars

There were a large number of smaller school athletes who performed well at the Texas Relays last weekend. Davenport's Maddy Reagan took fifth in the 2000m steeplechase with a time of 7:32.62. Pleasanton's Preston Pilgrim has been one of the top pole vaulters in the State this year. He cleared 15-3 and appears ready for the postseason. Dilley's Dorian Aranda and Pleasanton's Jayden Palacios each ran under 10.6 for the 100m. Aranda also tripled jumped 46-2. Cadence Patterson of Canyon Lake broke five minutes in the 1600m. The Cornerstone boys 4x400m relay team of Adrian Buentello, Davis McCray, Israel Cuellar and Christopher Harris ran 3:21.17. The Falls City boys and girls relay teams each have three good relay teams that could be heard from late in the season. Cayla Albers of Falls City went past 40-feet in the shot put.

School Records

In this section, I want to highlight the new school records that were set during the week. I need coaches to please let me know when you have a new record set. Either email me at or message at me @ShaneMeling on X (Twitter).

Nick Ross, Warren, 100m, 10.46
Mahogany Pierce, Brennan, Long Jump, 18-0
Sotomayor Boys, 4x400m, 3:19.24 (Bryce Lloyd, Boaz Nyandega, Aiden White, Elijah Hernandez)

·         District 27-6A Boys Preview

This meet is the toughest choice among all the district meets. I see four teams with a chance to win; Clemens, Judson, New Braunfels and Steele. Clemens' biggest strength is in the hurdle events with Jackson Jones, Caleb Martinez and Paul Mencke as well as three strong relay teams. Judson has good sprinters and relays but might have too many events where they don't score. New Braunfels has three or four events where they will score massive points and Jakob Gilbreth is a big reason why. Steele is led by their strong group of throwers. I think it will come down to the relays and believe that two or three teams will still have a chance to win when the 4x400m comes around.

The Pick: New Braunfels by a nose

Big Question: What events will Gilbreth run for the Unicorns?

·         District 27-6A Girls Preview

The 27-6A girls does not have as many potential winning teams, but it could be just as close at the end between the top two teams. Judson and Steele are the clear favorites and they should go 1-2 in all three relays. Steele will be relying upon Justice Boston for big points and it would not be a surprise to see her do all three jumps. While Boston is the top overall jumper, Judson will likely have three scorers in both the long and triple jumps. Steele should get solid points in the distance races, but I don't think it will be enough to overcome the dominance Judson has in the hurdles where Maria Flores, Jolene Martinez and Dayja'nae Pettit will likely go 1-2-3 in both events.

The Pick: Judson, but they might have to sweat out the 4x400m

Big Question: Can New Braunfels freshman Savanah Moya win the 800m, 1600m and 3200m or will Steele's Jadyn Cook or Kassia Kozarski knock her off in one of the races?

·         District 28-6A Boys Preview

It would be surprising to see the title go to anyone other than Reagan. However, there should be a tight race for second place with Brandeis, Churchill and Johnson all in the mix. My projections have the Rattlers scoring in every single event and winning all three relays. The 800m and 1600m could provide some fireworks. There are nine guys who have run under 2:00 in the 800m this year and Churchill's Alejandro Rosales likes to push the pace which means we should get a great winning time. In the 1600m, Brandeis' Hayden Scott and Reagan's Gavin Chapa dueled each other at Texas Relays last week and they will likely go head-to-head again in this and the 3200m. This district is also loaded with top football players who will be scoring big points for their teams.

The Pick: Reagan

Big Question(s): I have two questions for this meet. Will Reagan's Sam Abati continue to fly high and clear 18-feet in the pole vault and can Brandeis freshman Ben Tealer pull off the difficult task of winning the 400m and 800m?

·         District 28-6A Girls Preview

At this point, it is almost a birth right that the Reagan girls would win the district title with seven straight at this point. However, I think that Johnson will give them a challenge this year. The Jaguars have a young team that is led by their distance crew along with Jera Salters in the throws and pole vaulter Taylor Fuentespina. The Rattlers boast Isabella and Mackenzie Dagrosa who can be counted on for four individual golds and a few more in the relays. The newest star in the district is Brandeis freshman London Graham who has been great in everything she has done. She has the top time in the 100m, 200m and 400m this year and the Broncos will have a tough time deciding the best way to utilize her talents.

The Pick: Reagan, but not in a blowout

Big Question: Will Reagan's Mackenzie Dagrosa be unleashed in the 200m and 400m?

·         District 29-6A Boys Preview

This meet will already be underway when this is posted but I promise I didn't check any early results before writing this. The Brennan Bears have had an amazing season by winning every meet they have entered. It should continue this week. They are not dominant in the sprint events because they have focused on the relays this year, but they should score double digit points in most of the 17 events. Zac Miller is a budding star in the distance events while Javyn Dolton might be the top overall horizontal jumper in the area. Aside from the team competition there should be some amazing races. Hopefully, Harlan's Tate Taylor and Warren's Nick Ross will go at it again in the 100m and 200m and the hurdle duo of Malik White and Ja'Dan Keiler of Taft is worth the price of admission. Keep an eye on the 4x100m relay where Brennan and Harlan are two of the best in the Region.

The Pick: Brennan keeps their perfect season rolling.

Big Question: Can Tate Taylor or Nick Ross break 21 seconds in the 200m?

·         District 29-6A Girls Preview

The Harlan Hawks put a lot on senior Iyanna Webb and she generally comes through. She will be expected to win the long jump, triple jump, 100mH and 300mH as well as run a leg of the 4x400m relay. If she can do all of that then I think Harlan can hold off Brennan for the title. Webb is not Harlan's only star as they will be relying on Toryn Taylor and Alexis Owens to each get big points for the team. Brennan has their own star in Caila Lyons who is ranked #1 in the 400m and 800m and #2 in the 1600m. The Bears have three strong relay teams as well. Jay and Taft won't be competing for a team title, but each has an athlete who should pick up a lot of points, Shyniece Davis for Jay and Brooklyn Crow for Taft.

The Pick: Harlan holds off Brennan

Big Question: How will Brennan utilize Caila Lyons?

·         District 26-5A Boys Preview

The Wagner Thunderbirds have been posting some good results this year, but will it be enough to top Boerne Champion? Wagner has a great sprinting crew this year, but Seguin boasts the same strengths which will likely limit the T-Birds scoring in those events. It should lead to some fun races in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x200m. The Chargers do most of their damage in the distance and field events. Hayden Brace and Joshua Hierholzer were fabulous during the championship season last year and will need to do the same thing this year. Seguin has had the best 4x100m team in the area this year and should threaten to break 41 seconds.

The Pick: Champion remains the champs

Biggest Question: Who wins the final event of the meet? Four teams are within two seconds of each other in the 4x400.

·         District 26-5A Girls Preview

Last year, I wrote that Smithson Valley would win this meet. I was wrong and even though they ended up becoming State champions it just shows the difference between being a team that is deep and one that has the top few individuals. The Rangers lost some of their top talent to graduation and transfer but would appear to be to get the district title back this year. They have three strong relays and are balanced throughout the lineup plus Avianna Miller returned to the team after not competing last year and she does a little bit of everything. Boerne Champion has Elizabeth Leachman and Kynley Albright in the distance races but do not have the sprinters like they had last year. Seguin's Daisha Shular and Leah Brown and Nyima Williamson of Veteran's Memorial will all score big points and will likely be competing for top point scorer in the meet.

The Pick: Smithson Valley

Biggest Question: Will Beth Leachman attempt to run the 800m, 1600m and 3200m throughout the championship season or only focus on two races?

·         District 27-5A Boys Preview

MacArthur is an improving team, but they are not ready to challenge Alamo Heights. The Mules are picked to win 14-of-17 events and could eclipse 300 points as a team. They are deep and will score three individuals in nearly every event. The question for the Mules is do they have enough top talent to compete for a Regional title? Time will tell the story. Michael Terry has not done any jumping events this year for Alamo Heights but in the past, he has been good in both the long and high jumps. Sam Houston could put together some quality relay teams with John Peoples and Jaeden Servantez.

The Pick: Alamo Heights

Biggest Question: Can the Mules post results that compare favorably to District 26-5A?

·         District 27-5A Girls Preview

The Alamo Heights girls should dominate just like their boys do although they won't get quite as many points. MacArthur will be a solid second place team thanks to solid relays teams and a good group of hurdlers. The Mules do not have a superstar but overwhelm the competition through sheer numbers of quality athletes. Sophia Zadel is likely Alamo Heights' best chance at making the State meet in the high jump. Siara Hardeman and Senya Hardeman of Highlands are expected to go 1-2 in both throwing events.

The Pick: Alamo Heights

Biggest Question: Will there be an athlete that puts their stamp as the top performer in the meet?

·         District 28-5A Boys Preview

This is usually the domain of Medina Valley, but this year I think Southwest could give them a run for their money. Carter Hewitt ran a big season best for MV at the Texas Relays and could be in line for a huge district meet. Medina Vally should score a lot of points in the field events. Southwest has three relay teams that should get first or second and they have the top seeds in the 400m, 110mH, shot put and long jump. Anthony Zapata of Southwest Legacy is the top individual performer and could easily win the 800m, 1600m and 3200m. It would be a surprise to see him challenged in any of the races.

The Pick: Medina Valley

Biggest Question: Can Southwest sweep all three relays to make the team title interesting?

·          District 28-5A Girls Preview

The Medina Valley girls are huge favorites and will likely score more points than any other district champion in the area this year. They are favored to win 15-of-17 events. Annabelle Jehl and Mikayla Ramos give them a pair of stud throwers who are both outstanding in the discus. Kiyana Perez is favored in both hurdle events and could go far in the 100mH since she has already ran 14.89. Southwest Legacy's Alicia Galvez in the 800m and Maliya Smith of Southwest in the 100m are the only non-Medina Valley athletes favored to win. Galvez is one of the top 800m runners in the Region.

The Pick: Medina Valley by a lot!

Big Question: Can Kiyana Perez post times in the 100mH and 300mH that make people sit up and take notice?

Looking Forward

I will be covering the District 28-6A meet this week but hope to have comprehensive run downs of the other district meets, including some of the smaller school meets.

Senior Signings

I would like to keep a running tally of all the track and field and cross country signings so please contact me if you notice someone is missing.

Ella Pickron, Smithson Valley, Colorado State

Erin Martin, Boerne Champion, West Texas A&M

Isabella Dagrosa, Reagan, Vanderbilt

Mackenzie Dagrosa, Reagan, Vanderbilt

Hayden Brace, Boerne Champion, USMA

Marcelo Parra, TMI, Princeton

Franco Parra, TMI, Princeton

Araceli Ford, O'Connor, UIW

Anthony Zapata, Southwest Legacy, UIW

Sam Abati, Reagan, Texas

Ann Claire Cop, Fredericksburg, Houston

Maddie Reagan, Davenport, TCU

Iyanna Webb, Harlan, Baylor

Hayden Scott, Brandeis, Texas

Joseph Lopez, Sotomayor, A&M-Corpus Christi

Ashley Stratton, Harlan, Angelo State

Jazmyn Singh, Smithson Valley, Princeton

Nathan Marcovitch, Johnson, Baldwin-Wallace

Talitha Brown, Clemens, Dallas Baptist

Alejandro Rosales, Churchill, UT-Tyler

Avery Brawner, Alamo Heights, Hofstra

Eli Perez, Floresville, Seattle University

Alyssa Quinones, Floresville, Abilene Christian

Cadence Patterson, Canyon Lake, Houston

Alma Lazo-Cazares, O'Connor, USMA

Nick Ross, Warren, UT-Arlington

Brooklyn Crow, Taft, Rice