Editor’s note: This is a preliminary story posted just as the Region I-4A/5A meet concluded. Quotes from Stephenville state qualifiers and athletic director/girls track and field head coach Mike Copeland as well as photos from Saturday’s field events and running finals will be added soon.
By BRAD KETH
LUBBOCK (April 29, 2017) — A lot of dreams have come true at Stephenville High School this spring semester. A couple more came true on the final day of the Region I-4A/5A Track & Field Meet.
After each felt heartbreak at the regional meet a year ago, senior sprinter Kylee Ponder and junior high jumper Jordan Carter enjoyed elation at rainy, cold and blustery Lowrey Field Saturday.
Battling the elements of strong wind and temperatures in the 40s, Carter began the day by soaring to second place in the 4A girls high jump. She cleared 5 feet, 3 inches to enter the final two before going out at 5-4 while season-long rival Ally Andress of Glen Rose went alone to 5-6 and cleared that, matching both jumpers’ season best. They will enter the state meet as two of the top three jumpers in the classification.
The elation of advancing to her first state meet was amplified because of the disappointment felt when she entered regionals as a favorite last year only to go out early.
Some five hours after Carter punched her ticket to state, it was Ponder’s turn. After turning in a personal record 12.04 under clear skies in the prelims Friday, the senior made the most of her final chance to advance to Austin with a second-place finish in the 100. She crossed the line in 12.26 seconds, trailing only regional record setter Alexis Brown, who finished in a blistering 11.66.
Carter and Ponder join Blake Aragon in boys high jump and Nadine Arredondo in girls discus to give Stephenville at least four qualifiers for the UIL Track & Field State Meet, with the 4A competition set for May 12-13 at Mike A. Meyers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.
Bailey McBee placed third in the 100 hurdles in 15.51 seconds. The junior was eligible for a wild card spot at state, but according to results posted on directathletics.com, the third place from Region II-4A beat her out with a time of 15.39.
Arredondo just missed double-qualifying for state on a weekend where she also starred for the Honeybees in the bi-district softball playoffs. She placed third in the shot put at 36-9-3/4, followed in fourth by teammate and Danish exchange student Vicki Dahl at 36-5-3/4.
Hailey Martin was fourth in the triple jump with a best effort of 35-6-1/2. She was third through the first and second flight before Andress passed her in the finals.
The Stephenville 4×200 meter relay team of Kristen Pettit, McBee, Martin and Ponder finished fifth in 1:47.77.
Both Stephenville 4×100 teams reached the finals but struggled. The Honeybees, featuring McBee, Martin, Amber Walker and Ponder were disqualified for dropping the baton, and the Yellow Jacket squad of Krece Nowak, Kyle Lindsey, Cole Pettit and Rett Dittfurth finished eighth in 44.13. Each were seventh following the preliminaries.
Emily Kirbo finished ninth in the girls 1,600 meter run in 5:50.06, and Lane Rust was 13th in the boys 1,600 in 4:55.39. Zane Walker was 13th in boys discus at 128-8.
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