By CLINT FOSTER
In 2011, Mineral Wells senior sprinter Lorenzo Johnson earned a trip to the UIL State Track and Field Meet in Austin and brought home a gold medal after posting a personal-best 13.64 in the 110-meter hurdles.
The state championship struck a chord with one particular Mineral Wells eighth grader, Juvaree Sutton, who had run hurdles for the first time the previous year. From that point on, Sutton made it his mission to one day punch his own ticket to state and stand atop the podium, just as Johnson did.
This weekend, that dream could become a reality.
In just his junior season, Sutton has overcome injuries and other setbacks to earn his own chance to shine at the state track meet. Carrying a silver medal from the Region 1-3A Track Meet in Lubbock, where he ran the 300-meter hurdles in a personal-best 39.53, Sutton will run the same event in Austin this weekend.
He joins fellow Ram Dashawn Hicks – a regional gold medalist in the 100-meter dash – as the sole representatives for Mineral Wells on high school track's biggest stage at the University of Texas' Mike A. Myers Stadium.
"I was watching Lorenzo and ever since I saw him go to state I just pictured it," Sutton said. "I was going to work that much harder to get to state for everything I do. It's been kind of a dream for me. It's been a long, hard road with a bunch of losses, but it was all worth it to get here."
No one can ever say that Sutton doesn't work to get everything he achieves. As a stellar post on the Mineral Wells basketball team, he has developed a reputation among his high school coaches as one of the hardest workers at Mineral Wells. Hall of Fame head track coach Jackie Harvey is no exception.