Over the next two days, 16 area athletes will compete in their final track and field meets of the 2012 season.
Trevion Flowers will run the anchor leg on both the Shiner 400 and 800-meter relays Saturday at the Class A state track and field meet. photo by Jason Chlapek
There will be no advancing to another meet after today or Saturday because this group will compete in the state meet. The Luling and Shiner track and field programs both qualified athletes for the Classes 2A and A state meets, respectively, with the Eagles competing today and the Comanches competing Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
Shiner qualified 10 athletes for the Class A state meet. Meloni Berger (300-meter hurdles, 400-meter relay), LaNeshia Hunt (100-meter run, 400-meter relay), Stacey Perez (100-meter hurdles, 400-meter relay) and Cassie Stafford (400-meter relay) will represent the Lady Comanches at the state meet, while Lucian Blaschke (1,600-meter relay), Marcus Coleman (400-meter relay, 800-meter relay), Trevion Flowers (400-meter relay, 800-meter relay), Evel Jones (400-meter relay, 800-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay), Zach Lawrence (400-meter relay, 800-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay) and Marlon Wallace (1,600-meter relay) will represent the Comanches.
The six Shiner boys who will compete this weekend all either ran or were alternates on relay teams in last yearís state meet. But this year, they will all run as all three relay teams qualified.
"Itís good to qualify for all three relays because you get to stay warm throughout the meet," Lawrence said. "I wonít have to sit and wait as long between races."
Lawrence runs the third legs on the 400 and 800 relay teams and the second on the 1,600.
Jones runs the second legs on the 400 and 800 relays and first on the 1,600, while Coleman runs the opening leg on the 400 and 800 relays, Flowers is the anchor leg on the 400 and 800 relays, and Wallace and Blaschke are the third and anchor legs, respectively, on the 1,600 relay.
"If we win all three relays, we have a shot at winning the team title," Lawrence said.
Shiner won all three relays at the Region IV-A Meet on April 28, but the team title went to Ganado who finished with 77 points to the Comanchesí 60. But since Ganado only qualified four athletes -- two in the 300 hurdles -- the Indians can score 38 points at the most.
Out of the six Shiner boys who qualified, three are seniors. Blaschke, Lawrence and Wallace will all participate in their final high school athletic competition on Saturday.
"We want to win it all," Wallace said. "Weíll be good in the mile relay, especially since itís the only race Lucian and I will run in."
Wallace had a tough senior year as he suffered a muscle strain in his lower back during football which sidelined him for two games, and a pulled hamstring earlier in the track and field season which forced him to sit out a pair of meets. He credits a positive attitude for helping him come back.
"I just stayed positive and did a lot of stretching," Wallace said.
While most of her male counterparts have competed in just two state meets, Perez has competed in four. She also will compete in more than one event -- just like she did in her previous three state meets.
"If we stay focused, we will do well," Perez said. "Anything can happen in track on any given day."
Berger, Hunt and Perez both have juggling acts as they compete in multiple events as well as running on the 400 relay team. Berger is the first leg, while Hunt runs the second, Stafford the third and Perez the anchor.
"One day I work on hurdles and handoffs," Perez said. "The other day I work strictly on relays."
Saturdayís meet will be the final high school athletic competition for Perez and Stafford as they are both seniors. After finishing third in the 400 relay, it was uncertain whether or not the Lady Comanches would qualify for state.
However, Shiner picked up the wildcard berth at the state meet because it had the best third-place time out of the other third-place winners in the region meets. The top two finishers in the region meet and the best third-place finisher in the state qualify for the state meet.
"I was set on just working out for hurdles," Perez said. "But Iím glad we qualified the sprint relay as well."
Perez and Lawrence both plan to try out for the track and field programs at their respective schools of choice next year. Perez will attend Texas State, while Lawrence will attend Texas A&M.