• Photo by David Flynn
    Connor Smith competes in discus at regionals. Photo by David Flynn.
  • Photo by David Flynn
    Juan Arrendondo stands victorious at regionals. Photo by David Flynn.

Three GHS Track athletes advance to state meet

The Graham athletes that qualified at the area track meet competed in Lubbock on Friday and Saturday in the UIL Regional Track Meet. The Steers competed strongly in the field events and had several athletes qualify for state.

The first state qualifier is Juan Arrendondo. Arrendondo has been tearing up the competition in shot put all season long. Over the weekend in Lubbock he threw a distance of 54-10.75 for the gold medal at regionals. He beat Abilene Wylie’s Braden Darrow by a little more than a foot. Arrendondo will throw at the state meet on Friday, May 13 at 12 p.m.

Connor Smith had a strong performance at regionals. Smith threw the discus a distance of 154-02. That was good enough for second place. The first place finisher was Jesus Rodriguez of Midland Greenwood. He barely nudged out Smith. His throw went for a distance of 154-05. Smith will throw at the state meet on Saturday, May 14 at 8 a.m.

Bradlee Little qualified for state by finishing second in the pole vault at regionals. His vault was 15 feet. Colton House from Abilene Wylie beat him by three inches at regionals. Little will compete in the state meet at 3 p.m on Friday, May 13. 

On the girls side, Cody Hays just missed out on state. Her distance of 10-06 was good enough to tie Kayla Mcfarden of Brownwood, but due to Hays not making her second (tiebreaker) attempt, Mcfarden qualified for the state meet by default for landing her attempt.

Many others competed well in regionals at Lubbock, but did not qualify for the state tournament. Sydney Smith finished fifth in the shot put with a throw of 35-5. Kylie Hornback of Springtown won the event with a throw of 37-09.

Izzy Maberry finished 10th in the triple jump with a distance of 34-1. Ayriel Coleman of Pampa won the event with a jump of 38-01.

Nathan Flowers competed strong for the Steers, but fell short in the 110 hurdles. His time was 15.66 seconds. Travis Smith also competed in the 110 hurdles for the Steers. He finished ninth with a time of 15.73 seconds. The winner of the 110 hurdles was Remington Crossnoe of Bushland. His time was 14.53 seconds. Second place was Brenden Stork of Fort Stockton. His qualifying time was 14.85 seconds.

Will Walton equaled his season’s best time with a time of 4:49.1 in the 1,600-meters. However, competition was strong and Walton finished 11th. Issac Vargas of Levelland won the event with a time of 4:25.35.

Hunter Dooley from Graham came in 10th place in the shot put with a throw of 45-2. Jack Hays was ninth in the discus, as well. His throw was 137-4. 

The 2016 UIL State Meet will be in Austin on Thursday, May 12-14. Graham’s athletes will be competing Friday and Saturday. The meet will be held at the Mike Myers Track Complex on the University of Texas campus.

For those interested in attending the state track meet, an all-meet ticket is $30, a ticket to Saturday’s sessions is $20 and individual sessions are $12 for adults. Students are $7 per session. No re-entry will be allowed for single session ticket holders. 

The athletes qualifying for state have competed strong all season long. Graham’s region is very competitive and the field competitors should fair well against the best in state. In Austin, the GHS athletes will have to have their best performances to bring state championships home to Graham.

The Graham Leader

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