County schools running in regional meets this weekend

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

April 24, 2008 - More than 30 athletes will be in uniform for SSHS Friday and Saturday at the regional track meet in Denton, one of the largest Sulphur Springs contingents in over a decade.

They will be vying to be one of the top two in their events to earn a spot at the UIL State Track and Field Meet in two weeks.

Sulphur Springs will take 23 boys and 10 girls (counting relay alternates) to the Class 4A, Region II meet at Fouts Field in Denton. The meet is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Friday with partial field events. The running prelims will start at 4:15 p.m.

On Saturday, the remainder of the field events is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., with the running finals beginning at 2:20 p.m.

In the running preliminaries, the top eight in each event will make it to the finals on Saturday. The exceptions are the two distance events: the 3,200-meter run will be "finals only" on Friday and the 1,600 will be "finals only" on Saturday.

The boys 1,600, scheduled for 4:40 p.m. Saturday, will likely be one of the most tightly contested with SSHS senior Tate Ramirez in the mix for one of the top two spots. A heaping handful of runners have all clocked times in the lower 4:30 range, including Ramirez who went 4:29 last month.

Other Wildcats who have a solid chance of making the finals and competing for a state berth include sophomore Shane McQueen in the 300-intermediate hurdles, who ran a 38.8 at the district meet, sophomore Bryant "Day Day" Jackson in the triple jump (Jackson will be competing in four events at the regional meet) and shot putter Rodney Evans.

What makes it so difficult for SSHS athletes to advance is that this region is considered to be the best 4A region in the state for track and field.

The Wildcats were able to qualify all three of their relay teams to regional, and the Lady Cats qualified two of their relays.

Class 2A

Como-Pickton seniors Bethanie Stinson and Samantha Jones will each be competing in her fourth straight regional meet when the Lady Eagles go to Tarleton State University in Stephenville for the Class 2A, Region II meet.

Stinson, who has qualified for state the last three years, will be running the 3,200 and 1,600 meters, both of which she won at the District 16-2A meet.

Jones will be competing on the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, which qualified.

In addition, the C-P boys qualified in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

Class A

The Class A, Region III meet at Stephen F. Austin State University will be full of Hopkins County athletes.

Tops among them for the girls will be North Hopkins senior Jessi Mannis and Miller Grove senior Stormy Combs in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, Cumby's relay teams and freshman hurdler Savanah Neal, Cumby triple jumper Laura Oviedo and Saltillo discus thrower Stephanie Methe.

Hopkins County boys to watch include the distance trio of North Hopkins' Jose Cadena and Sulphur Bluff's Everett Wilder and Trey Henderson, North Hopkins hurdler Roger Sancho and Cumby quarter-miler Brixx Hawthorne.

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