|Two SSHS athletes advance to regional track meet|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
April 13, 2006 - MOUNT PLEASANT - Two and counting.
The Sulphur Springs Wildcats had two athletes qualify for the regional track meet on Wednesday, and are expecting more to follow suit today as the District 12-4A track and field meet concludes at Sam Parker Field.
Sophomore Tate Ramirez finished third in the 3,200-meter run to qualify for regional Wednesday morning, and classmate Rodney Evans did the same in the shot put shortly after lunch.
Today, the Wildcats expect distance runners Graham Northcutt and Kasie Carrell, pole vaulter Jayden Spencer, sprinter Jeff Pitts, hurdlers Daymon Nash and Tim Phillips, discus thrower Jose Vargas all to have good shots at qualifying as well. On the girls side, most of the attention will be on shot putter Bridgette Nash, the defending district champion, and the three relays.
Ramirez took third in the metric two-mile by finishing in 10 minutes, 29 seconds, followed in fifth by freshman Dylan Rutherford in 10:58. Former SS runner Tyler Tyndell won the race in a 9:52.
Ramirez and Rutherford, who will both be competing today in other distance events, were expected to do well.
"We're happy with those kids getting out there and competing like that," said track coach Jeff Riordan. "One of the things that you have to do at a district track meet is compete well because everything's on the line."
Evans, in the shot put, was a bit of a surprise. He threw a personal best of 47-6 1/2 to place third. Junior DeMarcus Johnson was fifth, throwing more than 45 feet.
"Rodney went out and had his best throw of the year - he and DeMarcus both had PRs (personal records)," Riordan said. "They went out and competed. Rodney was a surprise, but it was a good surprise."
Pitts almost qualified in the long jump. He went 21-0 to tie for third, but was placed fourth because of the tie-breaker, which is the second-best jump.
He will have another chance today as he will run in the finals in both the 100-meter dash and the 200. Daymon Nash will run in the 110-meter high hurdles, while Phillips will be in both hurdle events. Nash will also be in the triple jump along with Jon Young.
In other races, Northcutt and Carrell are favorites in the 800 and 1,600. Ramirez will run the 1,600, and Rutherford will be in the 800.
For the girls, freshman Talea Reynolds qualified for the finals in the 100 hurdles, and Shelby Elkins will be in the 300 hurdles. Molly Smith qualified for the finals in the 200, while Cecily Adams and Nellie Aguilar will be in the 1,600, and Kelsey Evans will compete in the 800.
"When you get into the finals at the district track meet, you have a chance because anything can happen," Riordan said. "We have some highlights, and hopefully we'll get a few more kids to qualify for regional."
The running finals start at 3:30 p.m.