He hasn't even brought out the big poles yet, but Corsicana's Noah Gilfillan is leaping toward a state title in the pole vault one step at a time.
Gilfillan made the jump from Whitehouse to UT-Arlington on Thursday, winning the Class 4A Area pole vault title, clearing 15-feet in Whitehouse to qualify for next week's Region III meet at UTA.
Gilfillan, who has a career-best of 17-1 and has cleared 16-6 this spring, didn't have to go to the larger and heavier polls, which are used for attempts at higher heights, on Thursday as he won the title easily.
Gilfillan, who has already signed with the University of Arkansas, finished second in the Class 4A state meet last year, but he was vaulting with a nagging injury and said he is feeling 100 percent this season for a run at a title.
The top four in each event advanced to the region meet, and the top four in the region meets advance to the state meet in Austin.
Danair Martin and Lathan Carter finished in a tie for fifth in the high jump and Xavier Bradley finished fifth in the 300 hurdles (40.13), just missing the region meet. Jonathan Brown was seventh in the 3,200.
Robin Henley advanced to the region meet with a fourth place finish in the girls 200.
Myshelette Andrews finished sixth in the 100 hurdles.
Mildred's girls and Rice's boys had the best day for Golden Circle teams in the Class 2A Area Meet in Kemp.
Mildred will send four girls to the region meet next weekend at Tarleton State in Stephenville. Sasha Ballard won the 800-meter run in 2:30:70 to advance and three other Lady Eagles finished third to earn the trip to Stephenville. Allison Hierholzer (high jump), Maddie Murrell (discus) and Alexus Ayers (100-hurdles) all took home third place.
Blooming Grove will send Joyce Ramirez, who was third in the shot put, and Chelsea Callahan, who was fourth in the 400, to the region meet.
Rice's Erin Derden qualified in two events, finishing second in both the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
Rice's boys did well as Austin Peppers finished third in the triple jump and Reese Whitt was third in the 400. Rice's 4x200 relay team took home fourth to qualify for the region meet.
Blooming Grove's Tyler Baumgarten won the 800 in 2:04.9 and Hunter Hawkins finished second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 to advance to the region meet on April 25-26.
The Frost girls ran away with the area meet, scoring 162 points while the Frost boys had a strong showing and finished second with 95 points.