Final Battle: North Hopkins Cadena, Sulphur Bluff’s Wilder wrap up track season with fourth and sixth place finishes
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor
May 11, 2008 - AUSTIN - The competitiveness of North Hopkins junior Jose Cadena and Sulphur Bluff junior Everett Wilder was evident following their performances Friday morning in the 3,200-meter run at the UIL State Track and Field Championships.
Despite both of them placing in the top six in state, neither was satisfied.
The same couldn't be said for their coaches, who were pleased with the effort by their runners.
Cadena, the Region III champion in the metric two-mile, ran a career best time of 10 minutes, 14.75 seconds to place fourth, while Everett placed sixth in a clocking of 10:40.28 on a hot day at Mike Myers Stadium that wasn't condusive for setting records.
Cadena had wanted to dip below 10 minutes, but only one runner - Andrew Gordon of Evant (9:53.50) - was able to do that in the muggy heat. Still, Cadena ran his best time by five seconds.
"I'm very happy with the way he ran," NH distance coach Tim Menke said. "He's a very competitive kid, and he wanted to do better. But, he ran his best time of the year at state, and that's all you can ask for. He came in with the fifth-best time and he got fourth, so that's a great performance."
Everett was right on Cadena's heels for the first mile, as Cadena clocked a 5:04 and Everett a 5:06 as they came across in sixth and seventh place. Cadena then picked off two runners - the final one in the race's last 200 meters - and Everett moved up one place over the last mile.
Both runners qualified for state in cross country and the 3,200, and both expressed hopes of getting back to the state meets next year.
"I was kind of nervous, but not too bad," Wilder said. "I felt all right, but I would have liked to have done better. I'm very happy about being here, and this will help me prepare for next year and try to get back here."
Sulphur Bluff coach Charles Wright said Wilder's sixth-place finish should give him motivation for next season.
"Everett has ran great all year, qualifying for state in cross country and qualifying for state in the two-mile in track. That's an awesome year," Wright said. "This will help prepare him for not just making it back here but to come out to win it.
"He's put in a lot of miles and a lot of hard work, and he has earned it. It was a great experience."
North Hopkins boys track coach Matt Rager shared similiar sentiments about Cadena.
"He's the regional champion in the 3,200 and cross country, and he'll have next year to try to come back and get a medal in both of those," Rager explained. "Jose ran his fastest intervals of the year this week, so he was prepared and he ran well."
UIL State Track and Field Championships
Class A Boys 3,200-Meter Run
1. Andrew Gordon, Evant, 9:53.50; 2. Roy Rodriguez, Lenorah Grady, 10:01.37; 3. Jonathan Lira, Plains, 10:16.31; 4. Jose Cadena, North Hopkins, 10:14.75; 5. Robert Hawes, San Antonio Stacy, 10:28.24; 6. Everett Wilder, Sulphur Bluff, 10:40.28; 7. Benton Warren, Valera Panther Creek, 10:50.78; 8. Zack Guiterrez, Roscoe, 11:33.85.