BY A MILE: Massey breaks school record; Wildcats win qualifer meet

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

April 21, 2008 - EUSTACE - Sulphur Springs track coaches used Friday's qualifier meet in Eustace as a practice for this weekend's regional event. For freshman miler Megan Massey, though, it was much more than that.

Massey broke the school's 1,600-meter record, running the four-lap race in 5 minutes, 47.66 seconds in FAT timing, almost nine full seconds faster than the previous mark of 5:56.10 set by Tara Tyndell in 2001. Massey, who hadn't ran distance before this year, placed second in the race.

"She didn't just break the record, she shattered it," said SSHS coach Jeff Riordan. "She's only going to get better because she still hasn't learned how to run the mile yet. She's a freshman, and she's getting better as the weeks go on."

Massey's previous best was the 6:00 she ran to place third at the District 11-4A meet the previous week. She will run both the 1,600 and 3,200 at the Class 4A Region II meet Friday and Saturday at Fouts Field on the campus of the University of North Texas.

Also for the girls, the 4x200 relay team of sophomore Ashanti Ivery, senior Stephanie Conley, freshman Bradyn Burney and junior Delandria Pryor ran their fastest time of the year - 1:49.4 - to win the event. It is the second-fastest time in school annals behind the record of 1:47.62 set two seasons ago. Burney also ran a 27.4 in the 200-meter dash to place sixth in that event.

For the boys, senior Tate Ramirez dropped down to the half-mile and won that event in 2:02. Ramirez will run the 1,600 at the regional meet after winning both it and the 3,200 at district.

He helped the Wildcats amass 134 points to win the meet.

Riordan said most of the Wildcats did not set personal bests because they had been going through strength and conditioning tests in offseason during the week.

"We didn't expect them to have peak times because their legs were dead," Riordan explained. "We had some times that weren't as good as usual, but we're going to cut back this week and peak again at the regional meet."

Official times and distances had not been delivered to the SSHS coaches yet, but Riordan said senior Rodney Evans won the shot put with a throw of more than 50-feet and Colton Nash was fourth in the event. In the discus, Evans was second and Nash was third.

Kaylon Page won the high jump with a leap of 6-2, and sophomore Garrett Ferguson placed fourth in the pole vault after clearing 11-6.

Shane McQueen won the 300-meter hurdles and was second in the 110s, and Bryant "Day Day" Jackson placed in both the long jump and triple jump as well as the 200.

All three relays medaled. The 4x100 was composed of Darrell Franklin, Lemarcus Kendricks, Tyrik Rollison and Daqualin "Boo" Evans. The 4x200 team was Chris Thompson, Jayden Wallace, Kendricks and Evans, and the 4x400 relay was Jackson, Anthony Mills, McQueen and Ramirez.

Tyler Wilson was third in the 1,600 in a time of 4:44, followed in fourth by Sulphur Bluff's Everett Wilder in 4:45.

"We competed well," Riordan said. "It was a good meet for us to practice and get some confidence."

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