Northcutt, Nash finish in fifth place at state track meet
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

May 13, 2006 - AUSTIN - History may have caught up to Graham Northcutt on Friday.

Running against a talented field that included four guys who had all placed at the State UIL Track and Field Meet last year, Northcutt ended up fifth in the 800-meter run at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Three of the top four finishers in last year's state final once again received medals, as Northcutt - a Sulphur Springs junior running in his first state meet - came in fifth in a time of 1 minute, 57.83 seconds.

"When you're at state, you're with the best of the best here," said SSHS distance coach Andy Holt. "I thought Graham ran well. He pretty much ran his race - he got a 1:57, which is what he's ran several times this year."

Northcutt was in seventh in the eight-man field when he came across the 400-meter mark in 55.8 seconds. He moved up to sixth in the turn and then joined the front group with 300 meters to go.

"He ran about a second faster on his first lap than he did at regional, and he was still at the back of the pack," Holt explained. "Those guys got out fast." 

In the final 200 meters, Robert Worley of New Braunfels Canyon pulled away to win in 1:54.53.

Northcutt tried to make up ground, but couldn't get into medal group.

"I was kind of disappointed that in the last 100 or 200 meters, my arms and legs were tired," Northcutt said. "I just couldn't run any faster.

"They ran really good. I could have ran a 1:56 on a normal day, but for some reason today, my arms and legs just gave out."

Northcutt has ran the second-fastest time in school history with a 1:57.19 at the regional meet. But, the top three runners at state all broke 1:55.

"Three seconds in the 800 is hard to make up when you're talking about the level they're competing at," Holt said. "He ran what he could and did his best."

Sulphur Springs got another fifth-place finish from shot putter Bridgette Nash, who threw 39 feet, 2 3/4 inches in her first state meet.

Nash got her longest throw on her second attempt and was third going into the finals, but two girls threw over 41 feet in the finals to push her out of medal contention.

Nash was consistent, with all six of her attempts going at least 38 feet, but she never could get the one big throw she needed to break into the top three.

"She's disappointed because she doesn't think she threw her best," said coach Kyle Abshire. "But, this is a different atmosphere, a different meet when you get to Austin."

Notes: Five meet records were set on the first day of competition, and there were several other near misses. Class 2A and 4A wrapped up their events. On Saturday, Class 1A, 3A and 5A will finish their events.

Boys Class A 800-meter run 

1. Robert Worley, NB Canyon 1:54.53

2. Lamar Leggins, FW E. Hills 1:55.43

3. Pat Wiggins, Livingston 1:55.98

4. Alan Reed, Dallas Lincoln 1:57.12

5. Graham Northcutt, SSHS 1:57.83

6. Jonhathan Iler, Hereford 2:01.93

7. Kevin Itima, Houston Westbury 2:02.96

8. Noe Hernandez, Mission 2:09.99

Girls Class 4A Shot put

1. Amanda Van Dyke, Pflu Connally 42-0

2. Christina Webb, Dallas Lincoln 41-10

3. Rachel Garcia, Mission Memorial 41-1

4. Victoria Andrews, H. Westbury 40-3 1/2

5. Bridgette Nash, SSHS 39-2 3/4

6. Davina Orieukwu, H. Westbury 39-2 1/2

7. Ann Alvarado, Canutillo 37-0

8. Ayana Lewis, FW Arl. Heights 36-4 

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