The destination is the area track meet and beyond for many local athletes. For Miller Grove, Yantis, Saltillo, Sulphur Bluff, and North Hopkins track teams—that dot on the map will be Hawkins on Thursday, and Cumby is bound for Collinsville today.Cumby head track coach Gary Parrish said, “I am very happy for these athletes. It has been a difficult move to this 13 team district, some of the competitors are some we saw at regionals last year. The competition is definitely stiffer, but we have worked hard. The kids aren’t making any excuses even those in multiple sports.”
Cumby track athletes like many in this area really have to want to go the extra mile for the track team; in this case, it is an extra mile on a bus to Commerce once a week to practice on a track. “The coaches here really work together, allowing time to bus the track team each Wednesday,” added Parrish, in his fifth season at Cumby. “The kids are getting used to our high expectations.”
The past three weeks, there has only been limited time for practice due to recent rainy weather in East Texas. “The weather at district was less than favorable (regarding the smoke-filled air and gusty winds in Lindsay), yet as just one example, Laura Oviedo ran her personal best in the 200-meter,” Parrish said.
Advancing to area for the Cumby Lady Trojans are: triple jump—Laura Oviedo, Savanah Neal; long jump—Oviedo; 300-meter hurdles—Neal; 200-meter run—Oviedo; 800-meter relay team of Valerie Partridge, Oviedo, Neal, Courtney Salinas; 1,600-meter relay team of Neal, Oviedo, Salinas, Ashley Anderson; discus—Anderson; and Trojan Timmy Cook in the 800-meter and 400-meter run.
In a neighboring school, Miller Grove will be advancing several athletes sporting green and gold from District 22-1A to area on Thursday at Hawkins. Miller Grove Hornet Andrew Steele will be competing in high jump along with Lady Hornets: Mareyna Pillard and Nicole Hall—triple jump; Destiny Soto—3,200-meter and 800-meter running events; Shayelynn Emerick—3,200-meter run; Pillard—300-meter hurdles; 1,600-meter relay team of Pillard, Hall, Soto, and Emerick.
In District 21-1A, Yantis will be moving forward on the heels of Lady Owl Amanda McKinney in the 100-meter hurdles and Owl Terry Thompson (not available for photos) in the triple jump event with both placing second at the district meet. The Yantis track team travels to nearby Como-Pickton for practice.
Just to the other side of Interstate 30, Saltillo advanced several team members—placing fifth overall as a team for girls and sixth overall for the boys at the District 22-1A meet in Hawkins. Advancing for the Saltillo Lady Lions is: Brittany Patridge—400-meter and 1,600-meter runs; Kimber Thompson—discus; Brooke Lane—high jump and shot put; Jessica Castro—3,200-meter run; and Regan Martin—shot put. Representing the Saltillo Lions in the triple jump and 400-meter run—Stuart Momon; high jump—Nolan Garmon; 1,600-meter relay team of Coltin Smith, Richard Williams, Jose Olayo, T.J. Momon, and alternate Cole Daniel.
The Sulphur Bluff Bear track team will be returning to Hawkins for area with the District 22-1A championship in their trophy case. Sulphur Bluff head track coach and athletic director Charles Wright said earlier, “I’m extremely proud of our kids and the work they’ve put in this season. The boys as a team performed well in spite of the wind and cold and finished strong to accomplish their second district championship out of the last three years.”
Going to area competition for the Bears will be Dylan Horn—pole vault, and 800-meter relay leg; Joe Hill (not pictured)—pole vault and 800-meter relay leg; Trey Henderson—800-meter run; Josh Formoso—800-meter run, 1,600-meter relay leg, and 400-meter run; Ken Wade—1,600-meter relay leg and 800-meter run; Jacob Mintz—110-meter hurdles; Ryan Moore (not pictured)—800-meter relay leg; Coltin Argenbright—800-meter relay leg; Jacob Stahl and Ismael Gutierrez—1,600-meter relay legs. Saltillo’s long distance runners Everett Wilder (2008 state runner), Zach Hope, and Ryan Watts took first, second, and third at district in the 3,200-meter run to advance. Sulphur Bluff Lady Bear Brittany Andrews cleared 75-4 in discus to place second for advancement.
Running practice on a cinder track that was built in 2003 will be North Hopkins long distance competitors junior Erick Perez and freshman Haley Flanagan, both in the 3,200-meter and 1,600-meter runs. “Erick has ran his personal best in the last two track meets; while, we are working on getting Haley, currently at 13.13 for the two mile, into the 12 minute range. With her being a freshman each record is a new best,” said North Hopkins head track coach Tim Menke. “Our main competitors will be Wilder from Sulphur Bluff and Avery.”
Menke may not be advancing a full deck of tracksters like he would like, he is positive about the ace he has up his sleeve. Perez was all-state in cross country this year. “Both kids really come out and work hard—all of our kids do,” coach added. Perez finished second in the 3,200-meter run with 11:02.44 and fourth in the 1,600-meter run with 5:05.83 at district. Flanagan ended on a third place in the 3,200-meter run with 13:42.55 and fourth in the 1,600-meter run clocking 6:15.47.
NOTE: To advance from district to area, athletes from 1A schools must place in the top four in an event, due to the larger number of 1A schools in Texas in each district.
With all events scheduled and set, these next two days will decide the outcome of which track athletes move on and which go home with all hoping the chance of rain predicted will allow for a sunny trek across the finish line and winners circle.
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