Unlike most relay teams that have one or two standout runners, Houston track coach Chris Edwards said his girls 4×100 relay team is strong at all four legs. That’s what he believes makes them successful.
The foursome of Danielle Pounds, Kaitlyn Kell, Taylor Korte and Bethany Korte raced to the top of the conference by finishing first Monday in the SCA track meet at Salem.
The team also finished second in the 4×200 to earn a pair of all-conference honors.
“They are very close to the same speed. That’s what makes that relay team successful,” Edwards said. “Bethany may be a little bit faster than the rest of them, but not to the degree other relay teams are where you see one or two really good and a couple of them hold their own.”
The girls’ relay team earned two of Houston’s eight conference medals. Each top-three finisher received all-SCA honors.
The track team earned its most conference medals in its three seasons under Edwards, who has high hopes for many of this year’s team members at Saturday’s districts at Fair Grove.
“I think we’re on the way up,” Edwards said. “The numbers have increased little by little, and this year is by far the best. Once you get the numbers, you start seeing some success on the track. We’re bringing home multiple medals at every meet, and the kids are really having a good time.”
The girls’ relay team won its race by leading a majority of the way in the 4×100. Pounds closed most of the gap from the leaders in the first leg and after a pair of clean exchanges to Kell and Taylor Korte, the team was at the front of the pack when Bethany Korte sprinted the final 100 meters to the finish line
“We got Bethany the baton, and she was able to bring it home,” Edwards said.
Edwards believes the relay team can advance Saturday with a similar smooth race.
“As long as we get the handoffs, we’ve got a pretty good shot at getting out of districts,” he said.
Bethany Korte earned individual all-conference honors with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash. This is the first full track season for the senior, who last year also played softball during the spring and missed most of the meets.
Kell, who returned to the track team after sitting out her sophomore year, finished third in the 800.
Kayla Herndon earned all-conference honors as a freshman by placing second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 1600.
“She’s always smiling and always working hard. She is a coach’s dream,” Edwards said.
On the boys’ side, Kyle Jones earned the Tigers’ two medals by finishing second in the long jump and third in the triple jump. He surprisingly failed to medal in the high jump — one of his top events this season.
“I know he was disappointed in the high jump,” Edwards said. “That’s the thing about track — it can sometimes be humbling because if you’re a little off, you pay the price for it. But overall, Kyle has had a great year and should be proud of what he did by placing second and third.”