Johnson adds to state medal count; Mannis and Stinson compete in distance events

By BOBBY “BUTCH” BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

May 12, 2007 - AUSTIN - The sixth time was the charm for North Hopkins senior Ebbonye Johnson.

� � � � Johnson engaged in a taut jump-off with Mallory Schenk of Windthorst for the gold medal in the high jump Friday that didn’t end until Johnson cleared 5-feet, 3-inches on her sixth attempt at the height.

� � � � It was the eighth medal overall and second gold medal Johnson has won at the UIL State Track and Field Meet in her four-year high school career. Earlier in the day, she placed second in the long jump.

� � � � The high jump has been her most consistent event in the four years, as she has earned a medal at the state meet every year and is now the two-time defending champion in the event.

� � � � But, it didn’t come easy.

� � � � Johnson and Schenk made all their jumps until the bar reached 5-3. They missed all three of their initial attempts, as did Cayuga’s Jamie Hope. But, Hope had missed one of her earlier attempts, she she had to settle for the bronze.

� � � � Johnson and Schenk then started their jump off, alternating makes at 5-2 with misses at 5-3 until Johnson cleared the height on her third jump off

attempt. Schenk missed all three of her attempts.

� � � � While the height wasn’t a personal best - she has jumped 5-6 - the gold medal made up for it.

� � � � �Definitely,� Johnson said. �The gold medal is better. That was exciting. It�s a good way to go out my senior year.

� � � � �At first, I was trying to figure out why I was hitting it. Then, I thought, �I�m a senior and I need to win this.� I was really nervous.�

� � � � Johnson was clearing the height with her back and thighs, but kept clipping the bar with her calves or heels.

� � � � �That was a tough one,� said her coach, Tim Menke. �She really came through. She had the same type scenario at regional, but it was for second. She had to win a jump-off to get her. Second at regional, first at state - that tells you how good our region is.�

� � � � Earlier in the day, Johnson took silver in the long jump with a personal best leap of 18-4 3/4. She led the event until the very last round when Bonnie

Richardson of Rochelle went 18-10 to take the gold.

� � � � Johnson’s previous best was 17-10, she she went a full half-foot farther on Friday on two of her attempts.

� � � � �I thought I had it,� Johnson said of the gold medal. �She just jumped out there.�

� � � � Johnson has now medaled in five events and has gone to the regional meet in six different events.

� � � � She ran the 300 hurdles on Friday as well, but went out a little too fast and faded to eighth in a time of 50.24 seconds.

� � � � �I think I�m going to cry more than her mother when she graduates,� Menke said of Johnson�s impending ceremony.

� � � � Como-Pickton will have Bethanie Stinson for one more year, as the distance runner earned a fifth-place finish in the 3,200-meter run in Class 2A.

� � � � It was an improvement of two places from last year’s finish.

� � � � Stinson ran a strategically-sound race. She dropped to the back of the pack through the first lap of the eight-lap race, then started moving up. She was sixth after the second lap, fifth after the third lap and was third at the one-mile mark.

� � � � Stinson kept moving up and took over second place on the first turn of the seventh lap. She stayed in second until the home stretch of the final lap, but was out-kicked by three girls who had moved up on the last lap.

� � � � Stinson finished in 12:00.93, about four seconds out of second place. The race was won by Sarah De Los Santos of Shallowater in 11:39.97.

� � � � Stinson will be running again today in the 1,600-meter race, in which she also placed seventh last year.

� � � � Her teammate, sophomore Deanna Garrett, was competing Saturday morning in the pole vault.

� � � � North Hopkins junior Jessi Mannis, also competing in her second state meet, was unable to battle through a nagging hip injury to place among the top six. She was seventh in both the 3,200 and the 1,600.

� � � � In the 3,200, Mannis was fourth through the first two laps, then dropped to sixth over the next mile. She tried to sprint her way into the top six, but was edged out at the tape.

Mannis finished in 12:06.62. the race was won by Allie Reyna of Ralls in 11:35.30.

� � � � In the 1,600, Mannis went through the first lap in 1:20, then took the lead coming out the curve on the second lap. She led the pack through the half-mile in 2:40, but settled back into sixth by the end of the third lap, which was 4:08.

� � � � Again, she tried to move up over the final stretch, but was seventh in 5:37.38.

Lindsey Putman of Ropesville won the race in 5:13.92.

� � � � Notes: In other races, Robert Griffin of Copperas Cove and Tiffany Townsend of Killeen were the obvious top two competitors on the first day. Griffin won two gold medals in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter

hurdles, setting a state meet record in the high hurdles with a time of 13.53 seconds. He was even more spectacular in the 300 event, which he won in a state record of 35.33 seconds. That is 1/100th of a second off the national record. Griffin also ran the anchor leg on Cove’s second-place mile relay team. He turned the final lap in 46.5 seconds. ... Townsend, likewise, was awe-inspiring. She ran state record times of 11.21 in the 100 and 22.84 in the 200.

Class A Girls

� � � � High jump - 1. Ebbonye Johnson, North Hopkins, 5-3; 2. Mallory Schenk, Windthorst, 5-2; 3. Jamie Hope, Cayuga, 5-2; 4. Yesenia Guevara, Bovina, 5-0; 5. Marie Jobe, Vega, 5-0; 6. Bonnie Richardson, Rochelle, 5-0; 7. Samantha Wiatrek, Falls city, 4-10; 8. Bianca Stewart, Bracketville, 4-8.

� � � � Long Jump - 1. Bonnie Richardson, Rochelle, 18-10; 2. Ebbonye Johnson, North Hopkins, 18-4 3/ 4; 3. Brittany Williams, Sudan, 17-7; 4. Amanda Wilson, Valley Mills, 16-6 3/4; 5. Katie Jones, Boys Ranch, 16-4 1/4; 6. Ashley Majors, Trent, 16-3 1/4; 7. Kristen Woelfel, Falls City, 15-4; 8. Tiffanie Fleming, Tenaha, 14-10.

3,200-meter run - 1. Allie Reyna, Ralls, 11:35.30; 2. Laurie Byrd, Round Top Carmine, 11:43.43; 3. Kyra Sloan, Crosbyton, 11:48.89; 4. Jessica Rodriguez,

Winters, 11:52.66; 5. Julia Holub, Seymour, 12:05.82; 6. Morgan Youngblood, Thorndale, 12:06.61; 7. Jessi Mannis, North Hopkins, 12:06.62; 8. Rachel Nesloney, Marins Mills, 12:25.41.

� � � � 300 hurdles - 1. Layken Cathey, Roscoe, 45.91; 2. Ninfa Rios, Runge, 45.93; 3. Michelle Fangman, Vega, 46.01; 4. Morgan Elkins, Bosqueville, 46.16; 5. Jaci

Copelin, Hedley, 46.69; 6. Lori Sparks, Irion County, 47.76; 7. Cara Chaney, Martins Mills, 48.04; 8. Ebbonye Johnson, North Hopkins, 50.24.

� � � � 1,600 - 1. Lindsey Putman, Ropesville, 5:13.92; 2. Chelsea Hermes, Lindsay, 5:14.71; 3. Allie Reyna, Ralls, 5:15.01; 4. Jessica Rodriguez, Winters, 5:25.15; 5. Laurie Byrd, Round Top Carmine, 5;33.67; 6. Kelya Jureczki, Johnson City, 5:34.93; 7. Jessi Mannis, North Hopkins, 5:37.38; 8. Tamra Jernigan, Memphis, 5:38.90.

Class 2A Girls

� � � � 3,200 - 1. Sarah De Los Santos, Shallowater, 11:39.97; 2. Emily Koenig, Little River Academy, 11:56.05; 3. Valerie Calderon, Slaton, 11:56.21; 4.

Molly Ferrell, East Bernard, 11:56.82; 5. Bethanie Stinson, Como-Pickton, 12:00.93; 6. Amber Weems, Hamilton, 12:22.52; 7. Shadoh Deal, Maypearl,

12:32.85; 8. Rebecca Jensen, Elkhart, DNF.

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