The Race Is On: NH, Cumby, Yantis advancing to area meet

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

April 3, 2007 - DeKALB - Ebbonye Johnson is accustomed to advancing past district in all five track and field events she enters, so when she fell while crossing the second hurdle in the preliminary 300-meter race on Monday, the North Hopkins' faithful held their collective breath.

Johnson, running the hurdles for only the second time in a meet, scrambled to her feet and finished second in her heat, qualifying her for the finals of the District 20-A meet at DeKalb High School.

"The scrape is OK," she said afterward while sporting a bandage. "It hurt more to come in second."

That wasn't a feeling she experienced too often on Monday.

Johnson came back to win the 300 hurdles (49.61 seconds) to go along with gold medals in the high jump (5-4) and long jump(16-8 1/2). She also qualified for next week's area meet by placing second in both the 100-meter ( 13.25) and 200-meter dashes (27.72).

The top four places in the district meet advance to the area contest next Wednesday, also at DeKalb.

North Hopkins qualified seven individual girls plus a relay team, while the NH boys had three individuals and a relay advance.

Cumby will take one boy and one girl,plus a girls relay to the area meet, while Yantis advanced one girl out of district.

North Hopkins fell short in the race for the team crown, as McLeod scored 160 points to win the title. The Lady Panthers scored 138.

Of their total, 46 points came from Johnson and 48 more came from the distance trio of Jessi Mannis, Sabra Thomas and Rosa Fuentes. The trio finished 1-2-3 in both the 3,200 and 1,600.

Mannis was a double winner, taking first in the metric two-mile in 12 minutes, 27.74 seconds, and in the 1,600 in 5:42.18. Thomas was second in both events in times of 12:54.84 and 6:02.87, while Fuentes was third in both in 12:23.65 and 6:13.95.

It is the third time for Mannis, a junior, to advance out of district and the fourth time for Thomas, a senior. Both girls ran in the state meet last year.

Those three also turned around and each ran a leg, along with Brittany Whaley, on the 1,600-meter relay team that placed third.

The Lady Panthers had both of their throwers advance as Megan Lehr placed second in the shot put with a throw of 32-0, and Savannah Starek was third in the discus with an 85-2 toss.

Cayla Newkirk also advanced by placing fourth in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:46.38.

Cumby's Arial Parker is advancing in two events. She placed second in the 100 hurdles in 17.81, then was third in the 300 hurdles in a time of 53.30. Cumby's 800-meter relay team placed second in 1:59.84.

Yantis senior Jamie Snider placed second in the long jump with a leap of 15-0 to advance.

BOYS

North Hopkins junior Roger Sancho placed among the top three in three separate events, earning an area berth in all of them.

He was second in the high jump with a leap of 5-7, then placed third in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.82 and was fourth in the 300 hurdles in 42.28.

Distance runner Jose Cadena also advanced in two events as he placed third in the 3,200 in a time of 10:46.51, followed in fourth by teammate Pedro Gonzales in 10:58.91. Cadena then came back to finish second in the 1,600 in a time of 4:52.33.

For Cumby, freshman Brixx Hawthorne finished fourth in the 200 in a time of 24.35 seconds.

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