|Northcutt, Carroll win qualifier races, while Johnson and Mannis set personal best|
|From Staff Reports|
April 24, 2006 - MESQUITE - In their final tune-up before this weekend's regional meets, dozens of Hopkins County track and field athletes participated in regional qualifier meets, and three of them came back with gold medals.
Sulphur Springs went to Mesquite for its annual regional qualifiers meet, while athletes from Como-Pickton and North Hopkins traveled to Gladewater.
The SSHS distance runners again came through with outstanding performances, while the girls were paced by shot putter Bridgette Nash and middle distance runner Kelsey Evans.
For the boys, juniors Graham Northcutt and Kasie Carrell each won their respective races. Northcutt ran the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds, cutting three seconds off of his personal best, while Carrell took first in the 800 in 2:00.30.
They will each be running both races at the Class 4A, Region II meet Friday and Saturday at Fouts Field at the University of North Texas in Denton.
Sophomore Tate Ramirez took second in the 3,200-meter run in a time of 10:25, and freshman Dylan Rutherford, who is a regional alternate, was fourth in 10:32.
SSHS coach Jeff Riordan said the Wildcats did well, especially after a grueling week of workouts.
"We had our distance boys place well," he said. "They got out there and ran their best times of the year, and that's all we can ask. We had some good times, the kids worked hard and they competed well."
Shot putter Rodney Evans placed fifth with a throw of 42 feet, 6 inches, and high jumper Kaylon Page did not place.
For the Lady Cats, Nash threw 40-8 1/2 to place second. That was almost a foot farther than she threw in winning the District 12-4A meet.
Evans, meanwhile, placed fourth in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:34. She also ran a leg on the mile relay along with Kaitlyn Black, Whitney Roland and Trashonda Green. They did not place, but ran a time of 4:16.
The 800-meter relay team of Roland, Green, Tanya Runion and Molly Smith were seventh in a personal best time of 1:47.4.
"We get the kids in there, work them out and let them run their races and try to improve their times," Riordan said. "We had good outcomes. Anytime you get people to the regional qualifiers meet and have them placing, that's the best of the best."
The Lady Cats got another dose of good new Monday morning when they found out that freshman miler Cecily Adams, who was a regional alternate after finishing fourth at district, will get to participate in the regional meet after a North Lamar runner dropped out of the mile to concentrate on the two-mile.
GLADEWATER - Sophomore distance runner Jessi Mannis ran a personal record in two different races, and junior Ebbonye Johnson matched her best in the high jump as the Lady Panthers prepared for their regional meet this weekend.
Mannis finished second in the 3,200-meter run in a time of 11 minutes, 59 seconds, the first time she has finished under 12 minutes. She then came back and ran the 1,600 in a time of 5:35, which was also her best.
Sabra Thomas came in fourth in the metric two-mile with a 12:23 clocking, and Rosa Fuentes was sixth in 12:50. Thomas was also eighth in the 1,600 in 5:40.
Johnson, who will be competing in four events at the regional meet, placed in three of them on Friday. She won the high jump with a leap of 5-6, which matched her personal best, and she was second in the long jump with a 17-5 effort. In the 200, Johnson finished sixth in 26.80 seconds.
She will also be running the 400 at the Class A, Region III meet set for Friday and Saturday at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.
GLADEWATER - Sophomore distance runner Bethanie Stinson finished in between the North Hopkins runners in the 3,200, finishing third in a time of 12:00, and then was fourth in the 1,600 in 5:30.25.
Freshman Maci Kight set a personal best in the discus with a throw of 89-10, but did not place.
Deanna Garrett and Shelby Harrison both participated in the pole vault, with Garrett clearing 8-6 and Harrison 7-0.
For the boys, Reece Caddell tied his person best in the pole vault by clearing 12-6.
Como-Pickton will be traveling to Turner Stadium in Humble on Friday and Saturday for the Class 2A, Region III meet.