By TONY EIERDAM
Now is the time for personal bests.
For fifteen Mineral Wells High School track athletes all of the hard work, time and effort they have put in all year comes to a head on Friday and Saturday at the Class 3A, Region I Track and Field Meet, which will be held at Fuller Track on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
The top two finishers in every event at the regional meet advance to the state meet in Austin, which will be held May 10-11.
Also, the state’s best third-place finisher from the four regional meets in each event will qualify for the state meet.
Each athlete had to endure two big tests – district meet followed by area meet – to reach the regional meet. Each athlete had to have placed in the top four of their respective events at the district meet to qualify for the area meet.
The top four finishers at the area meet – in the case of MWHS it was the District 5-3A/6-3A area meet – advanced to the regional meet.
“I am happy for the kids, and the one’s who I expected to get to the regional meet did so,” MWHS head track coach Jackie Harvey said. “All of the kids have put in a lot of hard work this year, and it has paid off.”
Perhaps the best chance for MWHS to qualify an athlete for the state meet rests with Rams junior sprinter DaShawn Hicks, who has qualified for the regional meet in four events including the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, long jump and sprint relay.
Hicks, who has won the 100 in every meet he has entered – including the competitive and prestigious Texas Relays – recorded his best time of the year at the area meet when he was clocked at 10.28. Hicks’ 10.28 represents the fastest time of any 100-meter runner competing at the Region I meet.
Hicks also won the 200-meter dash at the area meet with a time of 21.66.
MWHS had three athletes – Taylor Parkhill, Biren Clardy and Juvaree Sutton – who have qualified in three events.
Parkhill placed second in the pole vault and 300-meter hurdles at the area meet and placed third in the 100-meter hurdles.
“I am not surprised Taylor got out in three events,” Harvey said. “She ran two good hurdles races and did a good job in pole vault.”
Sutton won the 300-meter hurdles at the area meet while placing fourth in the 110-meter hurdles. He also ran a leg on the Rams’ regional-qualifying sprint relay team. The quartet of Sutton, Roy Edla (running for injured Omery Trevino), Kyle West and Hicks ran a time of 43.69 and placed third at the area meet.
The sprint relay team will probably have to turn in its best time of the year to qualify for the state meet. The boys’ sprint relay is the lone MWHS relay team to qualify for the regional meet.
Biren Clardy qualified for the regional meet in high jump, long jump and triple jump, placing second in high jump and long jump.
MWHS has two good chances to get out with girls’ long-distance runners Alex Pearcy and Karessa Fowler. Pearcy won the 1,600-meter run at the area meet, where Fowler placed second in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
“I feel real good about Alex and Karessa’s chances,” Harvey said. “They both work hard, and they are two of the area’s best long-distance runners.”
Any athlete who placed second, third or fourth at their respective area meets will have large hills to climb in their efforts to advance as in every event at the regional meet they will be facing four runners/jumpers/throwers who won their respective area meets.
But Harvey warned that each qualifying athlete, because of variables from the area meets, will have good chances to advance to the state meet.
“This is a new meet, and you have to run your best to get out (to state),” Harvey said. “But anyone who did not place first at the area meet still has a good chance to advance to state. It is not impossible.
“There are so many variables that you have to weigh. Some times could be wind aided, and other times could have been clocked on hand-held timers.
“Some kids also get a little nervous at the regional meet, where other kids step up. Just because you placed below first at the area meet doesn’t mean you can’t step up and win or place second at the regional meet.
“I also believe each athlete we take to the regional meet will improve on their times and marks. They have been improving each week since the district meet.
“We have a great chance in a number of events to get kids out to the state meet. I am looking at bigger and better things from each kid at the regional meet.”
15 MWHS track athletes begin trek to state at Region I meet Friday, Saturday at Texas Tech
By TONY EIERDAM
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