Stephenville sending 16 on to regionals in track

Bees win mile relay, Jackets rush to second despite dropped baton

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Stephenville's girls top the medal stand and show off their gold medals and plaque after winning the area title in the 4x400 relay at Graham Thursday night. || BRAD KEITH/TheFlashToday.com

By BRAD KEITH

Action photos courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN

TheFlashToday.com

GRAHAM (April 23, 2015) — Stephenville just knows how to finish.

In the final event of the Region I-4A area track and field meet between districts 5-4A and 6-4A, the Honeybees and Yellow Jackets – much like in last week’s District 6-4A meet – the Honeybees won gold by a landslide in the 4×400-meter relay.

The Yellow Jackets would have won the mile relay, too. Except for a dropped baton between the second and third legs.

For most teams, that would have spelled doom. Stephenville isn’t most teams.

Third leg Dawson Gray picked up the baton in fifth – the Jackets were previously neck-and-neck for the lead and handed the baton to anchorman Ben Martin in a heated battle for a spot in the top four and a berth in next week’s regional.

Martin wouldn’t be denied, catching all but one runner in front of him to lift Stephenville to second place and a silver medal.

Stepenville accepts silver in the boys 4x400-meter relay they would have likely won if not for a dropped baton. || BRAD KEITH/TheFlashToday.com
Stepenville accepts silver in the boys 4×400-meter relay they would have likely won if not for a dropped baton. || BRAD KEITH/TheFlashToday.com

Relays led the charge throughout the running finals for Stephenville, which is sending 16 athletes on to the Region I-4A meet at Fuller Track on the campus of Texas Tech in Lubbock next Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2.

The Honeybees are sending all their relay teams on to regionals. The 4×400 team of Kylee Ponder, Mikayla Hobbs, Cassidy Cline and anchor girl Payton Wall clocked a season-best 4:09.34 to win Stephenville’s only gold medal at the event.

Stephenville’s girls top the medal stand and show off their gold medals and plaque after winning the area title in the 4×400 relay at Graham Thursday night. || BRAD KEITH/TheFlashToday.com

*Audio from Honeybee head coach Mike Copeland*

*Audio from Yellow Jacket head coach Kreg Kimple*

The 4×200 club of Ponder, Cline, Hailey Martin and Maddi Cashell was second in 1:46.58, while 4×100 team of Hobbs, Cashell, Martin and Cline finished third in 51.08 seconds. Both recorded their best times of the season.

The Yellow Jackets are sending two relay squads on to regionals after Rico Wood, Martin, Austin Stufflebean and Jose DeSaracho placed second in the 4×200 in 1:31.47. Joining Martin and Gray in the 4×400 were DeSaracho and Griffin. They finished in 3:29.65, half a second ahead of third-place Mineral Wells despite the dropped baton.


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Martin, a freshman, Ponder, a sophomore, and Cashell, a senior, both triple qualified for regionals. Martin also placed second in the triple jump with a best leap of 34-5.5, Ponder finished second in the 100 in 12.45 seconds and Cashell was third in the 200 in 26.87.

Based on previous times in the 400, Ben Martin could have triple qualified, but he scratched out of the event to focus instead on the 4×200 and 4×400 meter relays. After the comeback in the 4×400, Martin said he made the right decision, realizing he needed everything in the tank to keep the relay club’s season alive.

Stufflebean raced through the 110-meter hurdles in 15.15 seconds, Cameron Reynolds heaved the shot put at 50 feet, five inches and Josh Nowell leaped a personal-best 21-3 in the long jump. All three Yellow Jackets earned silver medals.

Wall, a freshman, added another silver to the Honeybees’ medal count, placing second in the 400-meter dash in 1:01.40. Freshman Jordan Carter tied for second by clearing five feet in the high jump, but because of an FFA commitment next week, her regional spot goes to teammate Kaleigh Conger, who was fifth at 4-10.


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Jon Clark Giddings fought through a quad injury to tie for third and earn a regional spot in the boys pole vault. he cleared 12 foot and scratched his remaining jumps as soon as it was clear he was safely among the top four.

Bayleigh Chaviers will not get to defend her two state titles in the 800 meter run. The junior has fought leg injuries throughout the spring semester, and though she finished and fought her way to sixth place, she was unable to approach her best time of 2:14. A healthy Chaviers would easily have moved on, as the winning time was 2:28.

“She is a picture and profile in courage,” said Copeland. “She was in so much pain but fought so hard. I’m as proud of her for the courage she showed last week (at district) and today as I was when she won those gold medals at the state track meet the last two years.”

Complete results can be found here.

Kaleigh Conger clears the bar in the girls high jump. She finished fifth but will replace teammate Jordan Carter at next week's regional competition. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Kaleigh Conger clears the bar in the girls high jump. She finished fifth but will replace teammate Jordan Carter at next week’s regional competition. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Josh Nowell of Stephenville, left, accepts his silver medal for finishing second in the long jump in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Josh Nowell of Stephenville, left, accepts his silver medal for finishing second in the long jump in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Josh Nowell and coach Jeremiah Boutchey celebrate the junior Yellow Jacket placing second in the long jump at the area meet in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Josh Nowell and coach Jeremiah Boutchey celebrate the junior Yellow Jacket placing second in the long jump at the area meet in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Jordan Carter takes her spot on the medal stand after tying for second in the high jump at the area meet Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Jordan Carter takes her spot on the medal stand after tying for second in the high jump at the area meet Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Freshman Jordan Carter bends over the bar in the girls high jump at the area meet Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Freshman Jordan Carter bends over the bar in the girls high jump at the area meet Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Freshman high jumper Jordan Carter is headed to regionals after tying for second at area. She is shown with coach Garrett Mabry. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Freshman high jumper Jordan Carter is headed to regionals after tying for second at area. She is shown with coach Garrett Mabry. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Jon Clark Giddings is headed to regionals after fighting off a quad injury to place fourth in the pole vault at the area meet in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Jon Clark Giddings is headed to regionals after fighting off a quad injury to place fourth in the pole vault at the area meet in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Stephenville freshman Hailey Martin soars to second in the triple jump at the area track and field meet Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Stephenville freshman Hailey Martin soars to second in the triple jump at the area track and field meet Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Freshman Hailey Martin sprints down the run way in the triple jump in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Freshman Hailey Martin sprints down the run way in the triple jump in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Versatile freshman Hailey Martin and coach Jeremiah Boutchey were all smiles after she placed second in the triple jump. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Versatile freshman Hailey Martin and coach Jeremiah Boutchey were all smiles after she placed second in the triple jump. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Senior thrower Cameron Reynolds dons his silver medal for placing second in the shot put at the area track and field meet in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Senior thrower Cameron Reynolds dons his silver medal for placing second in the shot put at the area track and field meet in Graham Thursday. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Stephenville senior shot putter Cameron Reynolds is regional bound. He's shown with coach Daniel O'Keefe. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Stephenville senior shot putter Cameron Reynolds is regional bound. He’s shown with coach Daniel O’Keefe. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Austin Stufflebean clears the final hurdle and sprints to second in the 110-meter hurdles. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Austin Stufflebean clears the final hurdle and sprints to second in the 110-meter hurdles. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Bayleigh Chaviers put forth a courageous performance, completing the 800 meter in sixth despite nagging leg injuries. She was attempting to defend back-to-back state titles in the event. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Bayleigh Chaviers put forth a courageous performance, completing the 800 meter in sixth despite nagging leg injuries. She was attempting to defend back-to-back state titles in the event. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Ben Martin brings Stephenville home in second in the 4x400-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. BEN MARTIN
Ben Martin brings Stephenville home in second in the 4×400-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. BEN MARTIN
Cameron Reynolds competes in the discus after advancing to regionals in the shot put. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Cameron Reynolds competes in the discus after advancing to regionals in the shot put. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Cassidy Cline hands off to Payton Wall as the freshman begins the anchor leg of Stephenville's victorious 4x400-meter relay in Graham Thursday. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Cassidy Cline hands off to Payton Wall as the freshman begins the anchor leg of Stephenville’s victorious 4×400-meter relay in Graham Thursday. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Legendary coach Mike Copeland with victorious members of his 4x400-meter relay team. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Legendary coach Mike Copeland with victorious members of his 4×400-meter relay team. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Coach Mike Copeland with one of his region-bound relay clubs. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Coach Mike Copeland with one of his region-bound relay clubs. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Coach Garrett Mabry with Kylee Ponder. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Coach Garrett Mabry with Kylee Ponder. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Mikayla Hobbs hands off to Maddi Cashell during a girls relay event. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Mikayla Hobbs hands off to Maddi Cashell during a girls relay event. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Mikayla Hobbs hands the baton to Cassidy Cline during the 4x400-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Mikayla Hobbs hands the baton to Cassidy Cline during the 4×400-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Coach Mike Copeland celebrates with one of his relay clubs. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Coach Mike Copeland celebrates with one of his relay clubs. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Stephenville senior Maddi Cashell sprints to third in the 200-meter dash. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Stephenville senior Maddi Cashell sprints to third in the 200-meter dash. || Dr. CHET MARTIN
Cassidy Cline takes a handoff from Hailey Martin in the girls 4x100-meter dash. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Cassidy Cline takes a handoff from Hailey Martin in the girls 4×100-meter dash. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Rico Wood hands the baton to Ben Martin during the boys 4x200-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Rico Wood hands the baton to Ben Martin during the boys 4×200-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Tyler Griffin runs the second leg of the boys 4x400-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN
Tyler Griffin runs the second leg of the boys 4×400-meter relay. || Courtesy Dr. CHET MARTIN

 

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