Despite losing the majority of the 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic, some things never change for the Ryan boys track team.

The Raiders controlled Day 2 of the District 6-5A track and field meet on Thursday at Justin Northwest’s Texan Stadium to finish with 142 team points and their fourth straight district title by a margin of 46 points. Ryan’s 400- and 800-meter relays took gold while the 1,600 relay finished third. Jackson Parrish won the 800- and 400-meter runs and was one of nine individual Ryan qualifiers and three relays to advance to the area meet.

The top four finishers in each event qualify for the meet, slated for April 15 at Fort Worth Brewer.

“We found a way. It wasn’t quite as smooth as it’s been in previous years. But we made it work,” Ryan boys coach Janson Head said. “We dealt with some injuries this year that we haven’t had to deal with in the past. I think I ran a different 4x200 relay every single week, and it was about the same with the 4x100. We’ve had a lot of moving parts, and kids even stepped up tonight because of injuries.

“That’s the thing with Ryan kids. They rise to the occasion. When it matters, they show up.”

Though the day belonged to the Ryan boys, they weren’t the only Denton-area team competing in this meet. Combined, the Ryan boys and girls, Denton boys and girls, and Lake Dallas boys and girls combined to send 30 individual qualifiers and eight relay teams to the area meet. The Ryan girls took gold in all three of their relays and finished third with 131 points. Denton’s boys and girls finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Lake Dallas’ girls finished fifth overall, largely because of the individual performance of Mackenzie Buss, who won the triple jump and 100-meter dash. The Lake Dallas boys finished eighth overall.

A few highlights from the two-day meet include Parrish, who won the 800 with a blistering time of 1:54.34 and the 400 with a time of 49.41. Ryan’s 400-meter relay team of Kalib Hicks, Austin Jordan, Jordyn Bailey and Jeremiah Gibson won with a time of 41.88. The Raiders’ 800-meter relay team of Bailey, Kevin Sims, Hicks and Jordan took gold with a time of 1:29.14. Gibson also won the 100-meter dash in 10.95, and Jordan won the 200 with a time of 22.06.

The Ryan girls rolled to their bronze medal largely because of relays. Tatiana Adams, Katelyn Haley, Xariyah Hiler and Chinazaekpene Okoye won the 800 with a time of 1:46.70. Okoye, Adams, Ariana Carrington, and Macie Evans won the 1,600 relay with a time of 4:12.19, and Hiler, Jadin Catlin, Carrington, and Katelyn Haley won the 400 with a time of 50.76.

Buss won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.49. She also won the triple jump with a leap of 35-5.50 feet.

For full meet results, visit

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 469-360-3611 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

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