By DR. DAVID DAVIS
The Manvel boys captured the 6A state track title in 2015 for the schools second state championship to go with the Manvel girls basketball state championship trophy.
The Mavericks almost won back-to-back track titles in 2016, but Desoto nipped them 54-50 thanks to a second-place finish in the 4×400 while Manvel didn’t have a team in the final event.
But Manvel left little doubt for this year’s state title as they ran past second-place Port Arthur Memorial 85 to 63.
Lancaster finished third with 34 points followed by Amarillo (28), and Waxahachie (26) to round off the top five teams. There were over 50 Class 5A schools competing for the state title.
“This one’s special,” Manvel head coach Kendrick Crumedy said. “Anytime you can win one, it’s special, but this one here will make my heart flutter because at the beginning of the year Manvel was the afterthought.”
PA Memorial was fast as the Titans set two 5A records and a national mark – but the Mavericks were as productive as they were fast.
Memorial set a 5A record in the 400-meter relay (39.80) and national mark in the 800 relay (1:23.52).
Manvel replaced two-time state champion Fort Bend Marshall, who scored only 13 points, on the 5A track throne after moving from 6A to 5A in the last UIL realignment.
Caleb Jolivette won the 100-meter dash (10.31) and anchored second-place 400 and 800 relays.
Howard Fields took gold in the 400 (46.45). Both wins added 10 points to Manvel’s total, while Michael Tolds (second in high jump, 6-10), London Harris (fourth in 300 hurdles, 38.10) and Pedro Flores (sixth in 1,600, 4:22.16) added points as well.
But it was the relay teams that gave the Mavs the major points.
The 4×400 relay quartet of Lawrence Murray, Kameron Scott, Harris, and Fields placed first with a time of 3:12.63.
The 4×100 relay foursome of Jolivette, Scott, Aaron Johnson, and Jaren Colbert placed second in 40.08.
The 4×200 relay team of Johnson, Colbert, Scott, and Jolivette placed second in 1:24.05.
“Strength in numbers,” Crumedy said of a slogan the team had on its hoodies and a hashtag he routinely uses on social media.
Added Aaron Johnson, who ran on two relays: “Coach has really told us about the bigger picture.
He says, ‘It’s not just a team of ‘I.’ It’s a team of ‘we.’ And either way, we have to get through it together.”