MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Evan Thompson’s track and field journey came full circle after his first place finish at the State Meet.

The Sharyland Pioneer senior took home the gold in 5A, throwing the shot put 60 feet. 

Thompson qualified for the State meet his junior year. He finished third, leaving a bitter taste in his mouth entering the 2022-23 season. 

“I wanted to win it last year,” said Evan Thompson, Pioneer state champ. “I didn’t, but when I finally had the gold medal around my neck, it just felt right. It felt amazing.”

Courtesy: Jaime Pena

Pioneer Boys Throws Coach Jaime Pena said, “It meant a lot to him because the first thing he said was ‘I can’t wait to get to my Mom, my Dad, my brother.’ It was an awesome feeling.” 

It’s been a long journey for Thompson in the sport. His father, a former thrower at Lamar University, introduced him to track and field.

Thompson said in middle school, he was benched during a track meet because of his poor performance. His parents encouraged him to keep pushing and continue to work hard.

That hard work paid off in the long run. Thompson now holds the Pioneer school record for shot put.

Courtesy: Jaime Pena

His work ethic has not gone unnoticed either.

Pena tells his current throwers, “You say you want to get to that elite level? You say you want to get where Thompson is? Are you doing what Thompson did?” 

Thompson’s legacy lives on at Pioneer High School, but the next chapter begins for the state champ.

Evan signed with the University of The Incarnate Word in February to continue his track career. For Thompson, Incarnate Word was the right fit.

“Going to college and picking the right college is a big decision,” said Thompson. “When you have someone that you just feel secure about and you feel like he’s going to take you on the right path, it just makes me feel like it’s the right decision to go there.”

As Thompson prepares for the next level, he looks back at his state title and is still in disbelief that he achieved his goal.

“It was very surreal,” said Thompson. “It was just an overflow of emotions in the moment that I will never forget.”