MURPHY - The final day of the District 6-6A meet came with some pleasant surprises for Guyer's track and field program at Tom Kimbrough Stadium, but there was also some disappointment and heartbreak.
The lone gold medal to come back to Denton belongs to freshman Christalee Kirby, who won the girls discus competition with a throw of 116 feet, 3 1/2 inches, which edged second-place Carson Armijo from Plano East by two feet and third place by nearly 20 feet.
"It feels really great," Kirby said. "I know most of my competitors, and I knew what they threw, so coming in here and taking a win is really special to me."
That means Kirby will likely be a favorite at next week's area meet, which pits 6-6A against 5-6A at Justin Northwest on April 20-21. The top four finishers at the area meet advance to the Class 6A Region I meet April 28-29 at UT-Arlington's Maverick Stadium. The top two finishers from each region, plus the state's best non-qualifying finisher, advance to the UIL state meet in Austin May 11-13.
"It really gives me confidence," Kirby said. "I hope at area I can just keep progressing on to regionals and then on to state."
Guyer boys DQed in 800 relay
Guyer boys track coach J.D. Aaron knew one of his team's best shots at advancing to regionals in a couple of weeks was its 800-meter relay team, which has one of the top times in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
On Thursday night, they showed why.
With a slightly altered lineup that featured Kansas-bound Javan Reece as the lead leg followed by Asa Harris, Joseph Fletcher and Brock Thompson, they blew past the best team entering the meet from Allen and easily finished second behind Plano East.
Then, the official results showed up on the scoreboard and showed Guyer had been disqualified for going out of an exchange zone on the first exchange between Reece and Harris.
"It's frustrating because it's out of my control," Aaron said. "It's also not as bad as it could be because the kids performed well.
"I couldn't be mad at any one of them, no matter what happened. I've seen the video, and I didn't see anything where I'd be like 'What are you doing? That's not us.'"
Reece advances in both hurdles
Reece, who signed with Kansas to run both the 110 and 300 hurdles found himself advancing to the next round, even though he didn't run his best times.
Reece ran two-tenths of a second slower in the 110 final than he did in Wednesday's preliminaries, but still finished third in 14.84. He then finished fourth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.91 to move on.
"Javan's done a great job of just staying alive and moving on to next week," Aaron said. "I try to encourage the guys that even if you don't have a great time to your standards, it's all about moving on and being able to go another week."
Girls 800 relay moves on
Guyer girls coach Megan Hardesty was tasked with piecing together a relay team at the last minute due to some late changes to the lineup and some injuries.
In fact, freshman Jade Thompson, who also qualified for area on Wednesday in the shot put, was asked to run the race just 30 minutes before the teams were in the starting blocks.
All the Lady Wildcats did was run a 1:44.62 - the best time they had run all year - despite having the new lineup and a lead leg in Emilie Chance that is battling a possible stress fracture and hadn't run in over a week. Chance was followed by Ariana Butler, Thompson and Jaden Bly.
"It gives me chill bumps thinking about it," Hardesty said. "They stepped up and wanted to compete, and they've been working hard. It all paid off."
Thompson advances in sprints
Senior Brock Thompson overcame the disappointment of his 800 relay team's disqualification by making it through to next week's area meet in both the 100 and 200.
In the 200, Thompson held off a late charge to finish third in a time of 21.90. In the 100, Thompson finished third in 10.74, while teammate Joseph Fletcher also advanced with a fourth-place finish in 10.86.
Duo claims bronze in 800
It was a good night for Guyer in the 800, as junior Payton Duesing got third place in the girls race while Kevin Metzler took third in the boys.
Duesing finished the race in 2:23.10, while Metzler clocked in at 1:59.37 as both runners will advance to the area meet.
Akinniyi qualifies in second jump
Junior Eni Akinniyi finished fourth on Wednesday in the girls long jump to qualify for the area meet, and on Thursday she followed it up by qualifying in the triple jump with a school-record leap of 38-4 1/2 to finish in third place behind two Allen jumpers.
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.