By Joseph Garcia
LUBBOCK — Liberty Hill High School took 15 track and field athletes to Lubbock last week to compete in the Region I Meet to attempt to qualify for state. The Panthers put up some good showings, but there was just one left standing when it was all said and done — senior Jadon Durity-Boatright.
Durity-Boatright won the gold medal in Lubbock April 26-27 in the triple jump with an attempt of 48-1 1/2, just two and a half inches off his personal best of 48-4. He will be the lone Panther representing Liberty Hill at the UIL Track and Field State Meet May 10-11 in Austin.
“It feels weird being the only one to still be in track,” Durity-Boatright admitted. “(But) it felt great jumping 48 feet again and knowing that my leg isn’t bothering me anymore. I’m hoping to do better at state.”
Other boys’ results include Mitchell Germann placing fifth in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4 minutes and 39.69 seconds. Will Fromme finished seventh in the 110-meter hurdles (15.02) and Zack Stiles ended in fifth place in the 800-meter run (2:02.38).
The top finish by a Liberty Hill girl was freshman Danielle Rimann, who finished third in the 1600-meter run (5:22.95). She also placed sixth in the 3200-meter run. Heather Shaffer placed sixth in the pole vault (10-0) as did Maddie Sharp in the 100-meter hurdles (15.36) and high jump (5-0).
Brianna Burns finished eighth in the shot put with a throw of 34-1/2; Chelsea Cole finished ninth in both the 1600 and 3200-meter runs (5:45.14, 12:41.83). Skylar Larkin finished 11th in the 800-meter run (2:31.20) and Alexandria Ladesma placed 16th (2:39.19) in the same race.
The multi-sport Durity-Boatright will be taking the whole week to work on his legs, such as lifting weights and stretching while preparing for the state meet. Workouts include squats, lunges and calf raises among others.
His jumping coach, Robert Headrick, has helped him to continue to get better throughout the season.
He feels that if he has a repeat performance from the regional meet, a state gold medal is a strong possibility.
“At the meets if I (didn’t) have a good jump, Coach Headrick would tell me what I did wrong and I fixed it and ended up jumping further,” he said. “Looking at everything right now, I would say a jump around 48 feet or so will take the gold.”
Durity-Boatright has thrilled Liberty Hill sports fans over the past couple of years with his electric performances on the football and baseball fields, basketball court as well as in track and field.
His athletic abilities have yielded him the opportunity to attend the University of New Mexico on a scholarship playing football and competing in track and field. He has truly enjoyed his time as a Liberty Hill Panther, but is looking forward to becoming a New Mexico Lobo.
The state meet will be a bit of an emotional time for Durity-Boatright as his high school athletic career culminates at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
“It’s kind of sad thinking about it,” he said. “But it gives me a lot more motivation knowing that this is the last time for me to jump.”