Gonzales nears school record for fourth place finish at state

Poteet’s Noah Gonzales clears the bar during high jump at the 2021 Class 3A state track meet in Austin. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

AUSTIN — Noah Gonzales knew he had to use everything in his gas tank to have a chance at the podium in high jump at the Class 3A meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Poteet’s senior high jumper did just that, hitting a new personal record of 6 feet, 6 inches to finish fourth in high jump. His previous personal record was 6-2, which was set at the regional meet. It was just two inches off David Byrd’s school record of 6-8 set back in 1994.

“It feels so good. I came out to compete and I think I did a pretty good job at that,” Gonzales said. “Finishing at a height of 6-6 is insane to me.”

Gonzales was just three misses from reaching the podium for the Aggies. Two other jumpers jumped 6-6 and finished ahead of Gonzales due to the tiebreaker of misses. Jamariyan Howlett, of Riesel, won the event with a jump of 6-8.

“Our goal coming in was actually 6-4,” Head Coach Martin Alvarez said. “So, him getting 6-6 was awesome. We knew it was gonna take about 6-6 to hopefully get on the medal stand.”

He broke his PR by clearing 6-4 on his third and final attempt. Had he missed it, he would’ve finished fifth.

“Mental toughness is one of his best qualities,” Alvarez said. “I personally don’t think this is the last time we’re gonna see him high jump.”

In his final meet, he wanted to see how he stacked up with the state’s best. That level of competition helped the senior rise up to give himself a chance at a podium finish.

“It felt good. I enjoyed watching them,” Gonzales said. “They were all taller than me, so I wanted to prove to them height wasn’t everything here in high jump. It felt good to come out here and prove that.”

Correction: This story has been updated with the correct school record for Poteet.

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