By BRAD KEITH
Photos by CHET MARTIN
MINERAL WELLS (April 21, 2016) — Hailey Martin is headed to regionals in five events and was part of perhaps the gutsiest effort of the day for Stephenville at an area track and field meet Thursday between districts 5-4A and 6-4A.
The Honeybee 4×200 meter relay appeared dead in the water. Opener Kylee Ponder had just pulled up lame in the 100 meter dash, likely aggravating the same knee injury that kept her out for much of the season.
But in stepped Kristen Pettit, the alternate, to run an inspiring opening leg that put the Bees in position. Martin and Chloe Goodman did their jobs on the second and third legs, then Bayleigh Chaviers powered Stephenville into third place with a strong anchor leg.
It was their fastest time of the season, too.
“That’s what sports is all about,” said Stephenville girls head coach Mike Copeland, whose club finished third in the team standings. “We go down a girl right before we start and another one steps up and just guts it out. That’s all heart.”
Martin discusses going 5-for-5 and the 4×200 relay effort here:
If the girls 4×200 was the gutsiest performance of the day, then Josh Nowell and Jordan Carter tied for the most clutch efforts for Stephenville.
Nowell soared 43 feet, 5 inches on his sixth and final triple jump attempt, moving from second to first for his second gold medal in an hour after winning the high jump at 5-10. He also placed fourth in the long jump and led off the third-place 4×400 meter relay team to advance to regionals in four events.
Carter’s moment was just as impressive, as the sophomore matched a personal record in the high jump, clearing the bar on her final attempt at 5-4 for the win. She knew she cleared it, front flipped off the mat and met her coach and father, Joe Carter, with a high five.
Martin captured an area championship with her very first triple jump of the day, leaping 34-9-1/4 in windy conditions during the morning field events. She was also fourth in the long jump, and was just ahead of McBee as the teammates took second and third to advance in the 100-meter hurdles.
Martin and McBee also ran on the 4×100 meter relay that placed fourth for Stephenville. Ponder was on that team before being injured in the 100 meter, Martin ran the second leg, Chloe Goodman the third and McBee was the anchor. They held on at the wire for fourth place and the final spot in the upcoming regional meet in Lubbock.
The Yellow Jackets got one quartet out on the track as Nowell, Aaron Burrows, Dawson Grey and Pedro Manrriquez came in third in the 4×400 relay. The Honeybees were also third in the event after a strong finishing lap by Chaviers. McBee led it off, followed by Wall and Goodman on legs two and three.
Nadine Arredondo advanced in both throwing events, placing second in discus and fourth in shot put. Emily Kirbo moves on after finishing fourth in the 3,200.
Krece Nowak advances after placing third in the boys long jump.
In all Stephenville is sending 14 athletes to compete in 15 events at regionals – nine girls in 11 events and five boys in four events.
Photos by Dr. CHET MARTIN