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SS athletes battle best at regional track

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    Regional track.

    It doesn’t sound that daunting, but the regional meet has stopped many athlete’s dream of competing in Austin.
    The Region II, UIL track meet set Friday and Saturday at the University of Texas at Arlington will be just as tough this year.
    Sulphur Springs will have five athletes going up against the best in this part of Texas.

    Regional participants include:
    Madeline Massey — 1,600-meter run and 3,200 meter run. Massey holds the school record in the 1,600-meter run,
    Chrissalynd Person — long jump. Person had a 16-6 at district for second.
    Chaliyah Moore — won district in the shot put with a 35 foot, 1 3/4 inch toss.
    Zach Spigner — 110-meter hurdles, had a time of 15.81 in district despite running into the wind.
    B.J. Stribling — long jump, prime time performer, had his personal best, 20 feet, 7 1/2 inches at the district meet.

    Massey had been training in the cool morning hours. She has been working with track assistant and head cross country coach Andy Holt.
    Massey’s only second place finish of the track season came in district. In early meets she ran well and routinely swept both distance events.
    “Madeline has been training hard and getting ready to run the best she can at regionals. She wants to break the school record in the two-mile and get under 5:30 in the mile.  We hope to have Madeline in the top 10 in both races,” Holt said.
    The rest of the athletes train at the track after school.
    “There is great competition in the boys' long jump,” said  coach Matt Young. “Stribling is trying to hit the 21 foot mark and see if that can get him in the finals. Spigner is attempting to make the finals after finishing 10th in the prelims last year.”
    Spigner is getting attention from head trainer Tammy Carrell as he carefully practices, trying to a slightly pulled groin/hip muscle.
    Spigner is doing straight running under the guidance of coach Johnny Irvin.
    “He’s about 80 percent, he won’t actually go over a hurdle until the regional competition,” coach Irvin said. “It’s tough, but he has been a hurdler since the seventh grade. He know what to do. He has his form down. He’s one of the top 64 hurdlers in the state.”
    “I will be all right when it comes down to competing,” Spigner said. “I feel prepared. I have been there and done it before.”
    Irvin said, “I will be exciting to see Zach against the best. In a lot of meets, it was just him and nobody close.”
    Chaliyah Moore has just begun to scratch the surface of her ability in the shot put.
    Moore won the district title with a 35- 1 3/4 toss. That’s incredible considering she started the year at 33 feet.
    “Chaliyah has made tremendous improvements. She is such a blessing and extremely coachable,” said Scott Rozell, coach. “She is peaking at the right time. She had her best week leading into district. She has done everything we have asked from her.”
    Moore admits developing an affection to throwing the medal ball and competing in the shot put.
    “I just love it, I want to come out on top and do my best,” Moore said. “Shot is my only event and I have been able to concentrate and it. I want to keep improving.”
    Rozell said, “She’s making her best throws now. She just has to do it in regional She’s done it on her own, All the improvement has been because she’s worked for it.”
    Track coach Triston Abron has been giving special attention to long jumpers Person and Stribling.
    “We have been working to this point and now they give me eight jumps a day to get ready for regional,” coach Abron said. “We are training, trying not to over train.”
    Person, during the course of the school year has been involved in activities ranging from cheerleading to basketball to track.  In track she has taken part in several events with long jump being her best.
    Person said, “It is very exciting to go to regional. I like the jumping events more than running. I would like to get to the 17 foot mark. I want to do as well as I can at regional.”
    Stribling, who will be playing football in college next season at Tarleton State University, said he is pleased with his long jump success so far.
    “The 20 feet, 7 1/2 I had at district was my best so far. Bbut I can do better,” Stribling said. “I would like to reach the middle 21’s, maybe a regional. I get looser the more I jump. I need to get the explosion and jump my best in regional. I do better in actual competition than in practice.”
    Abron said, “Having the two train together challenges them. They push each other. They both are athletes who perform best when the spotlight is on. B.J. is a gamer and so is Boo (Chrissalynd).”
    Abron said Person has enjoyed remarkable success in her first year competing in the long jump.
    “She’s so good and athletic, you could put her in any track event and she’d get  points,” Abron said with a laugh.
    “All the Sulphur Springs kids know they will be going up against tough competition at the regional meet,” Abron said. “It’s a shame just two athletes in each event get to advance to Austin. We are just in a very competitive and fast region.”




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