|State berths at stake this weekend for SSHS track athletes|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
April 27, 2006 - Sulphur Springs track and field athletes will likely have to perform their best this weekend at the regional meet to advance to state.
But, that's what SSHS coaches are expecting.
"We know they're going to go out and do their best," said track coach Jeff Riordan. "We had a hard week of work last week, and we're taking it easier this week to refresh their legs and get them ready to run."
It appears that junior distance runners Graham Northcutt and Kasie Carrell and senior shot putter Bridgette Nash are in the best positions to advance by placing in the top two in their respective events when the Class 4A, Region II meet gets underway Friday morning at Fouts Field on the University of North Texas campus in Denton. The meet finishes up on Saturday.
None of the nine SSHS athletes competing in individual events nor the two girls relay teams that qualified for regional were in the top two among the 24 qualifiers in their events. But, some were close.
Northcutt and Carrell will both be running in the 800 and 1,600-meter runs. The prelims for the 800 are Friday, while the 1,600 will be finals only on Saturday. They are both positioned well among the region's leaders.
Northcutt has run a 1:57 this year and Carrell has broken two minutes. Though Lancaster's Aaron Isham, last year's regional champion, has gotten his time down to 1:55, there are only a couple of other competitors who have broken the two-minute barrier in recent weeks.
"Graham is one of the guys we think has a real chance at going to state," Riordan said, "and you can't count out Kasie Carrell because he works his tail off and is getting better and closing the gap."
In the 1,600, Northcutt ran a personal best of 4:28 at last week's qualifiers meet. There are a couple of other runners who have dipped below that mark, but Northcutt is capable of advancing because of his strong kick.
For the girls, Nash has one of the top throws in the shot put this year after finishing third at region last season and missing a trip to the state meet by one inch. She threw 41-8 last week, though two girls in the region have gone over 42 feet.
Other SSHS athletes competing will be senior Jayden Spencer in the pole vault, sophomore Rodney Evans in the shot put, Kaylon Page in the high jump and sophomore Tate Ramirez in the 3,200-meter run. For the girls, sophomore Kelsey Evans will run the 800, freshman Cecily Adams will be in the 1,600, and the 800-relay team of Trashonda Green, Molly Smith, Tanya Runion and Whitney Roland will be competing along with the 1,600 relay team of Green, Roland, Evans and Kaitlyn Black.