By CLINT FOSTER
LUBBOCK – The Mineral Wells Rams' track and field team is Austin-bound.
After top finishes at the Region 1-3A Track Meet in Lubbock, Friday and Saturday, senior Dashawn Hicks and junior Juvaree Sutton will represent their school and city at the UIL Track and Field State Meet in the University of Texas' Mike A. Myers Stadium, May 9-10.
"It feels real good," Mineral Wells' Hall of Fame head coach Jackie Harvey said of sending two athletes to state. "Dashawn overcame a lot coming off of surgery and did real well. He improved every week.
"Juvaree did a great job. He is probably one of the hardest workers on the team and it's really paid off for him."
Hicks will compete in the 100-meter dash in Austin, his go-to event which brought Mineral Wells its only gold medal at the 2014 regionals. In Lubbock, Hicks crossed the finish line in a blazing 10.61 seconds to top the podium and punch his ticket south.
For Hicks, Harvey said a win at state to cap off his senior season would be particularly special – and not only considering his long road to recovery after suffering a knee injury during basketball season in December.
Despite making it state every year in his high school career, Hicks has never won in the 100. Both Harvey and Hicks hope the fourth time is the charm.
"He's had a good career," Harvey said. "He's had a lot of tough luck. I'm hoping we can put everything together and help him go out on a good note."
Although Sutton may not be a senior, he too has the potential for a memorable trip to state where he will compete in the 300-meter hurdles.
Sutton is peaking at just the right time, posting a personal-best time of 39.53 in the 300 hurdles at regionals – good enough for a second-place finish.