The White Hall Bulldogs placed first in the 5A 4x1 relay at the state track meet held in Lake Hamilton last week.
The Bulldogs are under the stewardship of Head Coach Cortez Lee. The four members of the 4x1 team for the Bulldogs are Tredon Marks, DeSean Buckner, Kerry Hadley and Daniel Collins.
The four had success during the track season but had never taken home first place. Before taking first at the 5A state meet, the Bulldogs had placed as runners up four times. Lee decided to keep the same rotation the entire year, and it paid off well.
“We ended up getting the eighth seed,” Lee said. “We felt like we should’ve been four, five, or six based on our times. They gave us the worst lane. Before running, the guys said, ‘Coach, we’re ready, this is our time,’ and we went out and proved it.”
Lee said he feels that this group of four has set the tone for the program going forward.
“I think they’re role models,” Lee said. “They work hard, and each guy has his head on straight. A relay is guys coming together to complete an ultimate goal. They talk with each other and they pick each other. They set the example.”
The Bulldogs finished with a winning time of 43.18, while Benton placed second, and Texarkana placed third.
Lee spoke highly of each of the four and explained what each brought to the table.
“Each week, Tre Marks kept everybody together,” Lee said. “I considered him a second coach. Just throughout the whole season, he kept them on their toes. Kerry Hadley was a hard worker, never complained, and always gave us that extra boosts from that third leg. Buckner has natural ability, and Collins ran a 10.94 in the state 100m dash. They’re all such incredible athletes.”