By TONY EIERDAM
For a team that lacks the speed it has possessed in past years, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams must score many points in field events in order to have a chance at winning the District 6-3A Track and Field Meet, which gets underway today and continues Thursday at the Jackie Harvey Track Complex on the campus of Mineral Wells High School.
Field events today are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with running preliminaries to start at 4 p.m. The 3,200-meter run (finals only) will be the final event of today.
Running finals, including all relays, will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday.
“We should have an advantage that the district meet will be held here because we work out on the track,” MWHS head track coach Jackie Harvey said. “It’s also nice to have the district meet in front of the home folks.”
Field events have been the strength of the MWHS ladies, who won the Pojo Relays in Springtown two weeks ago courtesy of first-place finishes in discus, shot put and pole vault.
Three Lady Rams seniors have dominated field events this year, including at the Pojo Relays.
Sydney Shelstead, who earlier this season broke a school record in discus, placed first at Springtown in discus, while Shay Douglas won shot put and Taylor Parkhill finished first in pole vault.
Parkhill is another key to earning points as she placed second at Springtown in the 100-meter hurdles and third in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Lady Rams are also strong in distance races as Alex Pearcy and Karissa Fowler have won in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs this season. Pearcy won the mile (1,600 meters) at Springtown, while Fowler won the two-mile (3,200 meters) race.
“The girls have to continue to do what they have been doing in field events,” Harvey said. “You always have to score a lot of points in the field when you aren’t that strong on the track. We are not real fast this year. We are OK, but we do not have any standout sprinters.”
The Rams are a little down this year in the most important races, relays, but the story of this season is sprinter DaShawn Hicks, who has won the boys’ 100-meter dash in every meet he has competed in during the 2013 season, including the prestigious Texas Relays in Austin.
However, the Rams will need more than just Hicks to win the district meet, and at the Pojo Relays the sprint (400-meter) relay team of Omery Trevino, Juvaree Sutton, Kyle West and Hicks raced to a first-place time of 43.9, giving the Rams hopes that the relay teams can score important points at the 6-3A meet.
“The boys have to do the best they can do to score points in every event to win the district meet,” Harvey said. “The boys have a little more speed than the girls, and DaShawn has a great chance to win the 100 at district because his time will be the lowest of everyone competing.
“The only school we have not run against is Kennedale, but I do know they have a real good team.”
Harvey said he felt Kennedale would be the favorites to win both the girls’ and the boys’ meets.
“Kennedale has more overall sprinter speed than any team in the district, both girls and boys,” Harvey said.
Class 3A high school track has changed its post season with district and area meets being held to advance athletes to the regional meet.
Beginning this year, the top four finishers at the district meets will advance to the “area” meets, which in the case of Districts 6-3A and 5-3A will be held at Springtown on April 17.
At the area meet in Springtown, the top four finishers at the district meets from Districts 6-3A and 5-3A will compete for the right to advance competitors to the regional meet. The top four finishers in all events at the area meets will advance to the regional meet.
The Region I meet will be held Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, at Fuller Track on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
The reason for the change – is to eliminate a heat from the preliminary rounds of the regional meets.
Harvey feels this format will continue after the two-year experimental period.
“It saves a little money and it saves time at the regional meet,” he said. “I won’t know if I like this format until we have gone through it one time.
“This format will narrow the field down at the regional meet, with one less heat than we normally run in all races. Even though this is a two-year experiment, I think this format will be around a long time.
“I don’t think they will change it.”
By TONY EIERDAM
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