|Six area athletes headed to state tournament|
|From Staff Reports|
May 2, 2006 - Six Hopkins County athletes made their marks at their regional track and field meets last weekend, earning them a chance to do the same in Austin.
Four North Hopkins girls, Como-Pickton's Bethanie Stinson and Saltillo sprinter David Fern all notched a spot at the UIL State Track and Field Meet May 12-13 by placing in the top two in their respective events.
For some of the athletes - North Hopkins' Ebbonye Johnson, Sabra Thomas and Katy Williams - it will be a return trip to the state event.
PALESTINE - Stinson, a sophomore, continues to make a name for herself as one of the top distance runners in Class 2A. She ran in the state cross country meet in the fall and now will return to Austin to compete in two events.
She won both the 3,200-meter run (in 12:04.36) and the 1,600 (in 5:31.97) at the Class 2A, Region III meet.
In the metric two-mile, she beat the second-place finisher by more than 40 seconds, and came back to win the mile by more than 13 seconds.
Teammate Samantha Jones came close to qualifying, but finished fourth in both the long jump (16-6) and the 200-meter dash (personal record of 26.33).
Deanna Garrett was also a fourth-place finisher, jumping a personal best of 9-0 in the pole vault.
NACOGDOCHES - Johnson, one of the most versatile athletes at the state meet, will once again compete in multiple events after bringing home three gold medals and a silver at the Class A, Region III meet.
Last year as a sophomore, she competed in five events in Austin and won two medals. As a freshman, she was a silver medalist in the high jump.
In two weeks, she will be back at Mike Meyers Stadium to take part in the 200-meter dash, the 400, high jump and long jump.
At the regional meet, she set two personal bests, winning the high jump with a leap of 5-6 and placing second in the long jump with an effort of 18-1. Johnson also won the 200 in 26.43 seconds and the 400 in 60.48.
Williams, Jessi Mannis and Thomas will also all be competing in multiple events in Austin.
Williams was the regional winner in both the discus (109-6) and the shot put (37-3). Last year, she placed sixth in the shot put at state.
Mannis was a double winner at regional as well, taking first in the 3,200-meter run in 12:09 and the 1,600 in a personal record of 5:29.57. Thomas was second in both events in 12:23 and 5:36.98, respectively. Thomas qualified for state for the third straight year - she was eighth last year in the 1,600 and fifth as a freshman.
Rosa Fuentes placed in the 3,200, coming in fourth in 12:39.11. Fuentes also ran in the 800, but did not place. Megan Lehr competed in both the shot put (31-6) and discus (89-7) but did not place in either.
That added up to a second-place finish in the team standings. North Hopkins scored 98 points to come in behind Hubbard with 105.
For the boys, Corey Johnson placed fourth in the high jump with a 6-4 leap, and Jesus Delgado was fourth in the 1,600 in a time of 4:54.08. Jose Cadena was ninth in 5:03.29. Pedro Gonzales placed sixth in the 3,200 in 10:50.23.
Also in Nacogdoches, Fern earned a trip to the state meet by placing second in the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.36.
Teammate Travis Thompson ended up 13th in the discus with a throw of 100 feet even.
Junior Chloe Roberts, who was eighth in the high jump at state last year, placed seventh at regional with a leap of 4-10. She was also 12th in the discus with a throw of 83-3. Jessica Gilbreath, meanwhile, was 16th in the 1,600 in a time of 6:20.19.
Yantis senior Esther Fernandez, a state qualifier last year in the 800, placed third at regional this year in a time of 2:30.00. She was also sixth in the 400 at regional with a time of 1:04.71, and ran a leg on the Lady Owls' eighth-place 4x400 relay team.
Miller Grove's Stormy Combs was seventh in the 3,200 with a clocking of 13:06.10.