C-P quartet heading to regional meet
Tyler Clifton | News-Telegram Sports Writer

April 28, 2004 -- COMO -- A little bit of teamwork can go a long way, and the Como-Pickton 4x100 sprint relay team is living proof.

The Eagle team of Tyrin Porter, Casey Smith, Trent Vail and Caleb Lewis has only competed together twice due to scheduling conflicts with other activities, but it didn't seem to phase them at the District 14-2A track meet.

The quartet took second place in district with its time of 44.7 and was neck and neck with champion Caddo Mills until a bad exchange between the third and fourth legs cost them.

The team's performance was good enough to advance to this weekend's Class 2A, Region III meet in Stephenville on the campus of Tarleton State University. Preliminaries begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the finals slated for 1 p.m. Saturday.

It's the time of year where there is a small margin for error, and CPHS track-and-field coach Kirk Zimmermann said it will take a strong effort from his team in order to make it to Saturday.

"It's going to take three great handoffs for us even to make the finals," Zimmermann said. "Once we make it to Saturday, anything can happen."

Lady Eagle Shannon Russell will compete at 10 a.m. Saturday in the triple jump. The top eight competitors in the prelims will get three more attempts in the finals.

Russell won the District 14-2A meet under windy conditions April 15 with her jump of 33-feet-10 inches. She knows it will take more to advance to the state meet in Austin.

She showed her true capabilities in a March 26 meet at Union Grove, where she performed a season-best jump of 35-feet-2 inches.

"I've heard of some kids who have advanced jumping 37 feet or more," Zimmermann said. "I have no idea what the rest of our region has done, but I think Shannon has a chance to go further if she can clear 36 feet.

"Shannon has performed well all year long. She finished second in district last year, so it was good for her to win it this year and go out on a high note."

Class 1A, Region III

After winning the district and area track meets, the North Hopkins Girls have their goal set on taking the team championship at the regional meet, set for Friday and Saturday at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

They are also shooting to qualify several of their girls for the state meet in Austin in two weeks. The top two at region go to state.

The best shots to get to Austin are distance runners Mary Casey (3,200 and 1,600), Kate Hollenshead (800 and 3,200) and Sabra Thomas (3,200 and 1,600), Katy Williams in the shot put, Ebbonye Johnson in the 400 and 200, Sara Weir in the 300 hurdles, Hope Harber in the discus and the NH 1,600 meter relay team. They all placed first or second at the area meet.

Also competing at the regional meet will be Johnson and Harber in the high jump, Rosa Fuentes in the 800 and 1,600, and Chauncey Harber in the 300 hurdles.

Yantis will send Esther Fernandez in the 800 and the girls' 1,600 meter relay team. Cumby's Megan Strickland is going in the high jump.

On the boys' side, North Hopkins is led by senior William Johnson, who will be competing in the 100, 200, 400 and triple jump. Younger brother, Cory, qualified in the high jump.

Distance runners Jake Mannis (1,600 and 3,200), Adam Vitro (1,600 and 3,200) and Raul Delgado (1,600) will compete, along with Saltillo freshman Matt Sparks in the 1,600.

Corrie Byrd of Saltillo qualified in the 400, and teammate Colin Garmon is in the discus. Yantis' Brandon Knipple is also in the 400.

Cumby is sending John Bendall in the shot put and Rusty Vaughan in the 300 hurdles.

The regional meet beings with the running of the 3,200 meters at 3 p.m. Friday, with the track preliminaries beginning at 3:30 p.m. On Saturday, the field events begin at 9 a.m., with the running finals starting at 2 p.m.

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