|Hopkins county sending large contingents to Regional track and field meets|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
April 28, 2005 - Hopkins county tracksters will be attempting to run, jump and throw their way to Austin this weekend when they compete at their regional track and field meets.
Sulphur Springs will be sending a large contingent to Fouts Field on the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton on Friday and Saturday, while the Class A schools will be going to Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches for their competition.
The top two finishers in each event will qualify for the UIL state meet on May 13-14 at the Mike Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus.
Four Wildcats will be competing in finals on Friday while many others will be in the running preliminaries with finals on Saturday.
The most intriguing race on Friday will come at about 8:55 p.m. when sophomore Graham Northcutt takes to the track for the running of the 3,200-meter run.
Northcutt's time of 9 minutes, 58.70 seconds at the District 12-4A meet is the fastest among the 24 qualifiers. The second-place time from a Midway runner was about 13 seconds slower.
Because Northcutt has such a good chance of advancing in the metric two-mile race, he will not be competing in the 800 meters in which the preliminaries are set to be run about 2 1/2 hours before the 3,200. His district time of 2:00.81 is the seventh-fastest qualifying mark.
Also competing on Friday for the boys will be senior Rolaundo Wright in the triple jump at non and in the high jump at 2 p.m.
Wright has the sixth-best high jump mark at 6-4, and the 10th-best triple jump with a 43-7 effort at district, though he has gone over 45 feet this season. He will likely need to have his best effort because two triple jumpers surpassed 46 feet at their district meets.
Junior Jayden Spencer will also be competing at noon Friday in the pole vault. He won the 12-4A meet with a leap of 12-0 without any practice, and went 13-6 last week in a qualifiers meet. An Alvarado vaulter has gone 15-6 and four others have cleared 14-0 or better.
The running preliminaries will begin at 5:45 p.m., and the Wildcats will have a lot of participants - tops among them is senior sprinter Keelan Green.
Green, who placed fourth last year at the state meet in the 100-meter dash, has the best qualifying time in the region in the 200 with a 21.43. He also has the third-best qualifying time in the 100 with a 10.83, but he ran much faster than that - 10.52 - in Saturday's qualifiers meet.
He will also run on the sprint relay with John Hall, Keenan Clayton and Jermaine Wright. The SS quartet ran a 42.40 at district, which was the sixth-best qualifying time.
The 4x200 relay team, composed of Hall, Clayton, Wright and Robert Finnie, have the 12th-best qualifying time of 1:31.89, and in the 300-meter hurdles, sophomore Logan Turner's time of 41.88 is the 14th-fastest.
All of the runners will need to place in the top eight to make it to Saturday's finals, which will begin at 2:20 p.m.
For the girls, sophomore Emily Bouyear will run the 3,200 meters on Friday, then turn around and compete in the 1,600 on Saturday. She has the 13th-best qualifying time in the 1,600.
Junior Bridgette Nash will compete in the shot put at 10 a.m. Saturday. Nash broke the 40-foot mark on Saturday, and she will likely need to do it again to advance to state.
Red Oak's D'Andra Carter, who holds the state record in the shot put, has gone over 47-feet, and another girl from Lancaster has broken the 40-foot mark.
The North Hopkins girls will be front-runners to repeat their regional championship this weekend as they have a legitimate chance to send a half-dozen tracksters to state.
Sophomore Ebbonye Johnson, a silver medalist at last year's state meet in the high jump, has cleared 5-5 this season, which would likely win her a gold if she can repeat it. She will also be competing at regional in the maximum five events - long jump, 100, 200 and 400 along with the high jump.
The distance-running quartet of Kate Hollenshead, Sabra Thomas, Rosa Fuentes and Jessi Mannis will be all be competing. Hollenshead won both the 3,200 and 1,600 at the area meet, with Thomas coming in second in both events. Mannis was third in the mile and Fuentes third in the two-mile. They will also be running the 800.
Junior Katy Williams has a great chance of winning the shot put after she threw almost 40 feet at the area meet. She will also be competing in the discus.
For the NH boys, senior Zack Horne will be running the 300-meter hurdles, where he placed second at area. He will be joined at the area meet by Roger Sancho in the 110 hurdles, and Pedro Gonzales in the 1,600.
Others who will be competing include Saltillo sophomore Chloe Roberts in the high jump and discus and teammate Jessica Gilbreath in the 800. Yantis' Esther Fernandez will be running the 800 and the 1,600 along with Miller Grove's Stormy Combs.
For the boys, Saltillo's Micah Payne will be competing in the shot put and discus along with teammate Travis Thompson. Payne will be be running the 400.
Cumby's Brandon Brown will be running the 110 and 300 hurdles.
Miller Grove's Cole Schoenky will throw the discus, while Lucas Kerby will be in the high jump and Ben Whillock in the triple jump.