OGDEN - Devin Howard entered the season as a favorite to win state gold in the Class 2A 100- and 200-meter dash.
Last night's performances did nothing to diminish the spotlight.
Howard, a South Hamilton junior, blazed on the track to victories in the two sprints at a 2A State Qualifying Meet. He gained entry into next week's state meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines with winning times of 10.75 seconds in the 100 and 21.95 in the 200.
"He knew he ran a good 100 because he was looking up at the clock right away," South Hamilton head coach Darrell Paulsen said of Howard. "You run (the State Qualifying Meet) to put yourself in good shape for state and he did that. Now he has to do it at state."
Howard was the state runner-up in the 100 a year ago. He finished fourth in the 200.
Triston Twedt gave South Hamilton another automatic qualifier to state, as he finished in the runner-up slot in the 400 hurdles. He got out fast and leaned across the finish line in 54.97.
"This was Triston's best race," Paulsen said. "I didn't even watch it because I was so nervous, but it sounded like he got out faster than he has all year. Hopefully that puts him in a pretty good spot for next week."
Twedt finished sixth in the 400 hurdles at the state meet last spring.
The South Hamilton girls' team had one automatic state qualifier. The distance medley relay of Kali Lucas, Kaitlin Fisher, Allyson Ervin and Meghan Fisher claimed the silver medal in 4:30.22.
"I was really pleased with the whole group and it's very exciting for them," girls' head coach Dan Brodie said. "It will be a fun week next week."