Lancaster keeps state track & field titles coming

A third straight Class 4A boys state title is just further evidence that the high school track and field capital of Texas just might be Lancaster.

The Tigers have now won five boys state titles since 2003. The girls team, state runner-up for the second straight year, had a string of eight straight state titles from 2001-2008.

“I’ve got the best track job in the nation,’’ said boys coach Greg Williams. “We’ve truly been blessed. If you look at the girls and boys programs combined, I think we’d be up there close to the top.’’

Williams said he has followed the very successful lead of Lady Tigers’ coach Beverly Humphrey, for whom the campus stadium is named, in getting the program going.

The coach also gives credit to his assistant coaches and to football head coach Andrew Jackson for his emphasis on the track program.

With senior hurdlers Tyler Stephenson and Kendall Hayes leading the way, Lancaster scored 72 points in the 4A state meet Friday in Austin, 34 more than second-place Angleton.

Stephenson, a Baylor football signee, won both hurdle races. Hayes, who has signed a football scholarship with Louisiana Tech, was second in the 110s and fourth in the 300s. Both hope to mix track with football in college.

Freshman Devin Fields, who according to Williams has a future in the hurdles once room opens up next year, got Lancaster started with a win the long jump.

It wasn’t a perfect spring leading up to the state meet for the Tigers by any means. They were nagged by injuries. Williams said it wasn’t until the state meet that the team was fully healthy.

Lancaster also had to overcome a poor first day at the Region II meet.

“We weren’t in good position going to the final day and we knew we had to do a lot better,’’ Williams said. “Everything clicked that last day and it had to for us to have a shot at state.’’

Although Williams is bidding farewell to a strong group of seniors, he said a fourth state title is not out of the question. There’s a core of returning experience on the relays.

Lancaster can count on tradition as an ally, too.

*The Skyline girls won their third straight class 5A team title and their sixth since 2002, on Saturday.

*DeSoto was runner-up in the 5A girls and boys division.

* Richardson was fourth in the 5A boys division.

*Dallas Gateway won the Class A girls team title.