Going into the District 3-2A track and field meet of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools April 11, Faith Academy of Marble Falls was the favorite to continue a tradition head coach Steve McCannon doesn’t take for granted — winning the championships.
The Flames took 14 of the 17 gold medals, including in the 4×200-meter relay and in the 400 meters, to earn 271 points for their fourth district championship. The Lady Flames earned 240.5 points en route to their third consecutive district title and 12th overall.
The Faith boys are the defending the state champions.
“That’s how you win regionals and state,” head coach Steve McCannon said.
If there was an event that illustrated McCannon’s teachings, it was the 400 meters. Seniors Cody Owens and Case Coleman battled from the beginning to the end. Owens led for the majority of the race until Coleman made his move with about 80 meters to go. And then it was a foot race with Coleman leaning for the victory by mere tenths of a second. Because others haven’t competed in their district meets yet, McCannon declined to release times and distances, believing that helps the competition better prepare.
McCannon has always coached that track and field is a team sport where every point — from the 10 that come from winning first to the 1 point for getting sixth — is equally valuable and needed. In that sense no one athlete is more important than the others. And because athletes embrace that, they are willing to participate in the maximum five events that give the separation from the second-place team that creates the dominance on the scoreboard.
“The 400 is one of the hardest races in track,” McCannon said. “Our big guys (in that race) are seniors. We knew it was going to be close. And those 18 points are big. I’m excited for them to compete again. They have two more races (against each other). We knew they’d go one and two, we just didn’t know the order.”
Both are members of the 4×200-meter relay team but didn’t run in that race to prepare for the 400 meters. Instead, McCannon inserted others, who didn’t miss a beat in getting another gold medal. Brock Davis earned golds in that relay and in the high jump.
The Lady Flames were paced by Faith Murphy, who also participated in five events to ensure they had their 12th overall district championship as a program. Morgan Weems earned silver and bronze medals in the throwing events.
McCannon said the happiness from winning wasn’t possible with the assistant coaches Jordan French, Mary Nunnally and Cedric Griffin, who rarely stopped coaching and were always encouraging.
“They love kids and they engage them,” he said. “That’s the secret sauce.”
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