Mineral Wells Index
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.
He also competed in the 110-meter hurdles, where he finished fifth in 15.14, and was a part of the 1600-meter relay team that Harvey said made him quite proud.
Sutton joined Rascellis Williams, Zechariah Stanton and Omery Trevino to post a fourth-place finish with a time of 3:28.54 in a hotly-contested race.
Elsewhere for the Rams, Williams just missed out on qualifying for state in the high jump, registering a third-place finish with a 6-foot-2 leap.
It was a somewhat disappointing end to his junior campaign, especially considering that he posted a personal-best jump of 6-foot-7 earlier this year to take first place at the Pojo Relays last month in Springtown.
Junior Biren Clardy also fell short of a trip to state, finishing third in the long jump with a mark of 21-foot-7.5.
Also participating for the Rams were Preston Brooks in the 3200 meters and Elijiah Jefferson in the 4x400-meter relay with Stanton, Sutton and Trevino.
Overall, the Rams placed fifth as a team with 40 points, but were only two points out of second place. Kennedale won the meet with 58 point while two teams tied for second with 42 points and Graham squeezed its way into fourth with 41 points.
In such a tight competition, Harvey had nothing but positive things to say about the Rams' performance.
"The kids did an outstanding job," he said.
The Lady Rams did not place in any of their events, but saw Karessa Fowler, Alex Pearcy, Kylie Burke, Raeann Rivera, Katlyn Rivera and Brooklyn Lovern all compete hard in their 2014 finales.