By Joseph Garcia
One step away from the top of the mountain that is the State Track and Field Meet, Liberty Hill’s team competed hard and came away with a plethora of positive outcomes at Area Meet April 18 in Stephenville.
In cold and windy conditions, the Liberty Hill track and field athletes had their minds on performing well enough to move on to the Region I Track and Field Meet, which will be held in Lubbock April 26-27 at Texas Tech’s Fuller Track.
As it turned out, 15 athletes from Liberty Hill made the cut to the regional meet — 10 girls and five boys will be making the trip to Lubbock.
“(Conditions were) real cold and really windy,” said Liberty Hill track and field Coach Jimmy Duncan. “Our kids did well, tough conditions to participate in, but they did not let the conditions hinder their competitive nature. We are sending 10 girls and five boys. So, Liberty Hill will be properly represented in Lubbock.”
On the girls’ side, Danielle Rimann, Chelsea Cole, Madison Sharp, Maria Rodriguez, Heather Shaffer and Brianna Burns and Skylar Larkin all made the cut individually. Then the 4×400-meter relay team of Alexandria Ladesma, Larkin, Cera Dixon and Rodriguez earned a trip to Lubbock with a fourth-place finish (4:19.75). Allee Nix will be an alternate for the 4×400 relay team.
In the 3200-meter run, Rimann, finished third (12:37.87) and Cole placed fourth (12:45.29). In the 800-meter run, Larkin took third (2:31.34). In the 100-meter hurdles, Sharp finished second (15.53) as did Rodriguez in the 400-meter run (1:04.01).
In the 1600-meter run, Rimann won first (5:37.08) and Cole finished third (5:43.07). Then in the high jump, Sharp earned gold (5-2), in the pole vault Shaffer took second (9-6) and Burns placed fourth in the shot put (34-3 3/4).
“I am so excited to see these girls competing to the best of their abilities,” said Liberty Hill track and field Coach Monica Miller. “Prior to the last race, we already knew seven of our girls were going to regionals. The 4×400-meter relay team was an amazing feet by some amazing young ladies. They set their mind to competing to the best of their ability and qualifying this relay; therefore, heading to Lubbock with the other seven girls already going. They did just that!”
On the boys’ side, junior Will Fromme will compete in the 110-meter hurdles after a second-place finish (14.56) and the 300-meter hurdles after placing third (39.99).
Logan Barnes will also represent the Panthers after taking the bronze in the 100-meter dash (10.91) as will Mitchell Germann in the 1600-meter run following his third-place finish (4:56.02).
Zack Stiles won the 800-meter run on Thursday with a time of 2:05.43 as did Jadon Durity-Boatright in the triple jump with an attempt of 44-6 1/2.
Stiles said he thought things went quite well for him in the cold conditions. Stiles’ goal at the regional meet is to break two minutes in the 800-meter run. It was his goal at the beginning of the season and he says he is inching closer to obtaining that result.
“Due to a very strong wind, I didn’t have a very good time, but getting first place was nice,” Stiles said. “I’m really happy to be going to regionals and I hope that I just give it my all and do my best and see where I go from there. To see myself get so close to that time only makes we want to achieve it more.”
Durity-Boatright, who pulled up lame (right hamstring) in the 100-meter dash in the district meet, scratched himself from the long jump last Thursday because his leg was bothering him.
Last year’s state bronze medalist in the triple jump knew the leg would hurt as he attempted his best event, but he forged through it anyhow.
“In the triple jump I knew it was going to hurt when I jumped, but I had to get a good jump in on my first attempt of I wouldn’t make it past area,” he said. “It hurt pretty badly when I jumped, but I managed to get a 44. I wasn’t expecting to win with that, but that’s how it worked out.”
The New Mexico-bound senior said Tuesday that his leg is feeling much better.
“I don’t think it will be a problem when I jump at regionals,” Durity-Boatright acknowledged. “At least I’m hoping it won’t.”