Navasota Boys Win Title; College Station Individuals AdvanceSports Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Story by David Campbell at brazossports.com
Even though the top four finishers were assured of a spot at the regional track meet, the Navasota Rattlers played the best bet. They played to win.
The Rattlers swept the three relays and won two individual events to capture the team championship at the inaugural area track meet between Class 3A Districts 17 and 18 on Wednesday at College Station’s Cougar Stadium.
Austin Collins, who won the triple jump at 43 feet, 51/2 inches, also ran legs on the winning relay teams.
“Jerbrell [Lipscomb] had just gotten back from the 100, so his legs weren’t fresh,” said Collins after running the third leg in the 800-meter relay. “I thought that dude from Connally [Michael Powell] was catching up so I had to finish. When I saw Willie [Creeks] finish up the last 100, I saw how close that dude from Connally really was.”
Creeks finished off the victory, though, as Navasota won in 1 minute, 29.30 seconds.
Sammy Blair anchored the Rattlers’ 1,600 relay to 3:21.74, after running a steady race in the 400 and winning with a time of 50.57. Teammate Terrance Creeks was second at 51.14.
Navasota avenged its loss of the district team title to Taylor by scoring 127 points to win the boys division. The Ducks were second at 104 points, led Fred Kerley, who won the 200 and personally accounted for 38 points.
Bolstered by two-event victories each from Kelsie Warren and Jeremiah Booker, College Station will have a solid contingent of competitors for the school’s first regional meet at Humble’s Turner Stadium on April 26-27.
Although Booker bumped hurdles along the way, he worked from in front powering his way into a strong headwind to win the 110-meter hurdles in 15.28.
“I had a good start, and just finished it off,” Booker said. “I hit two or three hurdles. In the beginning, I thought the wind was going to be tough, but when I started running, I really didn’t pay any attention. I just went.”
Booker hit the next-to-last obstacle in the 300 hurdles as Taylor’s Albert Vasquez inched closer, but Booker cleared the final hurdle and his dash to the finish gave the Cougars’ sophomore the victory in 40.59.
Warren moved quickly to the lead and held a 7-second advantage after the first lap of the 3,200. She extended her lead to defeat state cross country champion Miranda Prado from Lorena.
“I hoped to qualify.” Warren said. “At this point, that’s all we want. We want to qualify and move on as a team. It’s not my fastest time, but we qualified as a team, so that’s OK.”
Prado, battling a suspected stress fracture in her ankle, had run 11:30 to win the 17-3A meet. Her second-place area time was 11:50.62,
Warren also won the 1,600 in 5:11.65, comfortably ahead of Prado’s 5:23.94.
Warren, who had no company on the track, will have friends at the Region III-3A meet at Humble. Teammates Leah Lewis and Madeline Dungan also advanced in the 3,200 and Lewis also advanced in the 1,600.
“I love having the team with us,” Warren said. “We are just building a team with our new school and that’s just amazing.”
Although she was a distant third in the 1,600, timed at 5:33.63, Caldwell freshman Rian Rodriguez also pocketed a gold medal on the day. In the earlier 800 meters, she tucked perfectly behind two-lead runners for the opening lap, and then moved into the lead on the turn beginning the second lap and was never headed.
“Don’t lead the first lap because of the wind, and then in the second lap, take over in front,” said Rodriguez of her strategy. “I knew I was able to take over the lead, because at the pace we were running, I still had a lot left in me. I just let them lead, like my coach told me to, and in the second lap, I just took it.”
Gabby Orzabal also had a highlight event for the Lady Cougars, leading from the start and winning the 300 hurdles in 47.01. Orzabal’s closest test came from Rockdale’s De’Jhoria Davis, who was also second in the 100 hurdles.
Rockdale’s Juan Rubio sprinted the final 200 meters to win the 3,200, breaking out of a five-runner pack to win handily in 10:16.77. College Station’s Jonathon Bishop was fifth in 10:22.95.
Madisonville’s Lisa Nealey She finished second in the long jump to the high-point athlete, Khayla Williams of Connally, but Nealey jumped 17-1 to advance to regional for the third straight year. Both jumpers passed on their final two chances with Nealey bypassing a shot at her best of the year, 17-5.
“My legs were kind of pulling,” said Nealey, who did not qualify in her newest event, the triple jump. “Hopefully, I can get to state this year, in my last year.”
Connally won the girls division with 122 points with Williams scoring 31. College Station scored 103 points to place second.
Rockdale’s Emily Brinkley, who qualified for the state meet in the shot put last year, threw 37-51/2 to win the event. Brinkley was second in the discus at 117-1.
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