The medal haul for Eagle Track and Field was again gallant if not quite collectively golden.
Edward Bocock ‘25 was a one-man wrecking crew and the outstanding athlete of the meet, fueling Eagle Track and Field to the late advantage at the TAPPS 6A state championships at Waco Midway High School’s Panther Field. But the coveted title slipped agonizingly away despite a strong bronze medal result in the 4×400 relay final event.
The Eagles narrowly missed the program’s fourth bold bonanza in eight years. The 138-team total was only four points shy of San Antonio Central Catholic. Bocock and a slew of multi-point performers, including Preston Bowman ‘23, Ryan Bordas ‘25, and Larry Benton ‘24 energized the second consecutive team silver for St. Thomas.
The precious Bocock was responsible for 36 points, more than four other competing schools, one point away from Addison Trinity Christian Academy and three from Dallas Parish Episcopal. He captured gold in the 300 meter hurdles, racked the triple jump with a new school record of 46-01, took silver in the long jump, ran fourth in the 110 meter hurdles, and blazed the anchor in the 4×400 with Keenen Bonner ‘24, David Carbajal ‘26, and Bordas.
The Eagles roared to the Day 1 advantage when Tyler Day ‘24 (147-06) and Benton (137-11) supplied early momentum with career-best efforts, a first/third finish in the discus with Charlie Boettcher ‘23 sixth (129-09). Benton then reloaded to cash gold in the shot put (52-06.5) as St. Thomas secured second place through six events with 56 points.
Other Day 1 superlatives included:
Bocock first in the triple jump with James Dickinson ‘23 fourth (43-00.5)
Bocock second in the long jump (22-08.25)
Sebastian Vargas ‘26 sixth in the high jump (5-10)
Bocock continued his nuclear assault on Saturday, seizing gold in the 300 meter hurdles (41.17) and fourth in the 110 meter hurdles (15.37).
The Day 2 demolition included:
Bowman fifth in the 100 meters (10.94) with Johann Cardenas ‘24 sixth (11.14) and Aaron Blackman ‘24 eighth (11.45)
Carbajal fifth in the 800 meters (1:58.99) with Bordas sixth (1:59.87)
Sam Saman ‘23 second in the pole vault (12-06) with Sebastian Rew ‘25 5th (10-06)
Blackman, Trey Robinson ‘23, Grant Stewart ‘25, and Bowman third in the 4×200 meter relay (1:30.51)
Bowman third in the 200 meters (22.88)
Carbajal third in the 1600 meters (4:31.22)
The latest in a scintillating series of results solidifies acclaimed Natham Labus among the premier head coaches in Texas and the region and the unquestioned grand master within the state’s private school ranks.
In 2022, the Eagles were the state runner-up as the defending champion.
In 2021, two-sport all-state dynamo Cameron Bonner ‘21 (Baylor football) raced to a new state record, and a youthful crew of dynamic talents combined strength and sizzle as St. Thomas thoroughly dominated all-comers.
In 2020, the defending kingpins were on pace for a repeat title before the pandemic eliminated an encore effort.
In 2019, Eagle Track and Field staged a fast and furious surge to the championship finish after trailing Dallas Bishop Dunne by a presumed insurmountable 89-29 deficit (yes, 89-29). Peyton Matocha ‘19 (Miami, FL) football – the highest jumper in TAPPS history – dramatically capped the crown and closed his unrivaled two-sport scholar-athlete career with gold in the meet’s climaxing event after Alex Rivero ‘20 delivered crucial fourth-place points.
In 2016, uber-talented Landon Malouf ‘16 (Texas A&M track and field) fronted four individual champions and a depth of contribution for the program’s first state triumph since 2005. The Eagles emphatically stamped the 100th state title in the rich and storied history of St. Thomas athletics.
Eagle Fight Never Dies!