By TONY EIERDAM
The final step of trying to qualify for the Class 3A, Region I track meet in Lubbock is today as 27 Mineral Wells High School athletes will travel to Springtown for the newly-created “area” meet.
The top four finishers at the area meet – which at Springtown will be the top four finishers from the District 6-3A track meet against the top four finishers from the District 5-3A meet – advance to the regional meet.
The Rams and Lady Rams will have competitors in all events except the girls’ and boys’ 400-meter run.
The area meet was designed to eliminate one heat from each race and limit the field in field events. It is a measure designed to save time and money.
In year’s past, the top three finishers at the district meets would advance straight to the regional meet.
With eight districts sending three athletes in each running event, that meant 24 athletes – and on an eight-lane track that would result in three heats per race – would vie for the top two spots available to qualify for the state meet.
After the area meets, 16 athletes will compete in every event at the regional meet, meaning only two heats per race will be needed.
MWHS track coach Jackie Harvey likes the chances of all 27 of his athletes – some who will be competing in multi events – to make it out to the regional meet.
“I feel the kids who made it out to area will get better and better as we go,” he said. “We have been getting better and better each week, and we will get better (today) as well.”
While the district meet was also about crowning a district champion (the Rams won the meet and the Lady Rams finished second), the area meet is strictly about advancing athletes to the regional meet.
Any district champion will be almost a cinch to make it in the top four and out to the regional meet, and MWHS will send seven athletes in nine events who won their respective event or events at the 6-3A meet.
DaShawn Hicks won three gold medals (100, 200, long jump), with Alex Pearcy (1600), Karessa Fowler (3200), Sydney Shelstead (discus), Shay Douglas (shot put), Taylor Parkhill (pole vault), Rascellis Williams (high jump) and Chris Valdez (800) each wining a gold medal.
The battles for advancement will come from the competitors who finished third and fourth in their respective district meets.
Top four finishers in each event qualify for regional meet
By TONY EIERDAM
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