North Hopkins takes team lead at state track meet
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

May 13, 2006 - AUSTIN - North Hopkins coach Tim Menke wanted his two distance runners to score at least eight points in the 3,200-meter run Friday at the state track meet.

The girls didn't think that was nearly enough.

NH sophomore Jessi Mannis and junior Sabra Thomas both ran the fastest times of their high school careers to place second and fourth, respectively, in the metric two-mile, scoring a cumulative 12 points.

Their races, combined with junior Ebbonye Johnson's silver medal performance in the long jump, gave the Lady Panthers the first-day lead in the team standings as well at the UIL State Track and Field Meet held at

Mike A. Myers Stadium.

"That's a great start," said Menke, whose team had 20 points on Friday. "Both girls ran their fastest times of the year."

Mannis, Thomas and Johnson will all have a chance to add to the point totals on Saturday along with senior thrower Katy Williams. Mannis and Thomas are in the 1,600-meter run, Johnson is competing in three more

events, the high jump, 200 and 4000, and Williams has qualified in both the shot put and the discus.

Como-Pickton sophomore Bethanie Stinson also ran two races on Friday, placing seventh in both the 3,200 and the 1,600.

The 3,200 was the first event of the meet, and Menke was hoping his distance duo would get the team off to the right start. They did.

The pair started near the back of the pack and worked their way forward throughtout the eight-lap race.

After one lap, Mannis was in fifth and Thomas in seventh. They continued moving up until Mannis ran laps three through seven in third place and Thomas situated herself in fourth.

Starting the final lap, Mannis moved into second and ended up comfortably outrunning Comstock's Kayla Pratt by six seconds, finishing in a personal best time of 11 minutes, 47.54 seconds. Thomas was two place behind in 11:59.46, the first time she had dipped below 12 minutes.

"It was good start. It's exciting to get that many points," Mannis said. "I didn't start out very fast, and I got in behind the fourth place girl, then I

started moving up."

Thomas said she was hitting her splits exactly at the times she wanted. This was her third time to run at state, and it was her highest finish.

This is also the third state meet for Johnson, who earned her fourth medal on Friday by jumping 17-10 3/4 in the long jump. 

Last year, she placed sixth in the event, but wrapped up a medal on the third of her six jumps. She momentarily took first place, but Hubbard's Tiffany Hawkins took over the lead with an 18-7 leap just a few minutes later.

Johnson scratched each of her final three attempts, but no one else could surpass her mark.


In the Class 2A 3,200, Stinson was in the top six for the first mile, getting as high as fourth place, but ran in seventh for the final mile, finishing in

11:58.71. That was about six seconds faster than her regional-winning time.

"I felt pretty good - I wish I could have done a little bit better, but I improved my time from regional, so I feel good," Stinson said.

Leigh Berger of Weimer led the race from start to finish, winning in a time of 11:01.37.

The race started about 35 minutes late because of a mix-up in the schedule, but Stinson said the delay helped her stretch and get loosened.

It showed as she was in fourth after the third lap and was ahead of her planned splits at that point in the race.

"It was pretty fast," she said of the race. "I liked it."

The 1,600 was even faster, because Loren Hodges of Paradise set a new state meet class record by running a 5:04.02.

Stinson was seventh in 5:34.63. She moved up from eighth to seventh over the final two laps and finished just a little more than a second out of sixth.

Class A 3,200

1. Allie Reyna, Ralls 11.39.14

2. Jessi Mannis, N. Hopkins 11:47.54

3. Kayla Pratt, Comstock 11:53.35

4. Sabra Thomas, N. Hopkins 11:59.46

5. Morgan Youngblood, Thorndale 12:21.99

6. Halie Jacobs, Throckmorton 12:31.73

7. Megan Liss, Petrolia 12:34.81

8. Mura Montero, Santa Maria 13:06.95

Class 2A 3,200

1. Leigh Berger, Weimer 11:01.37

2. Sarah Delos Santos, Shallowater 11:16.58

3. Kristie Krueger, Argyle 11:25.54

4. Molly Farrell, E. Bernard 11:44.78

5. Gillian Gatewood, Alpine 11:48.69

6. Beth Skaggs, Celina 11:51.56

7. Bethanie Stinson, C-P 11;58.71

8. Rebecca Jensen, Elkhart 12:45.25

Class 1A Long Jump

1. Tiffany Hawkins, Hubbard 18-7 1/4

2. Ebbonye Johnson, NH 17-10 3/4

3. Breanniea Morrow, Bremond 17-10 1/4

4. Ashely Malone, Hamlin 17-8 3/4

5. Rebekah Melton, Milano 17-6 3/4

6. Shelbi Adkins, Roscoe 17-3 1/4

7. Brittany Williams, Sudan 17-0

8. Laura Bankhead, Highland 16-1

Class 2A 1,600

1. Loren Hodges, Paradise 5:04.02

2. Kristi Krueger, Argyle 5:10.49

3. Leigh Berger, Weimer 5:10.63

4. Chelsea Ervi, Salado 5;14.40

5. Sarah Delos Santos, Shallowater 5:15.18

6. Meagan Willingham, Ballinger 5:33.16

7. Bethanie Stinson, C-P 5:34.63

8. Katie Wilson, Harmony 5:42.06

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