Elite track athletes compete at regional meet

Bronte Hermesmeyer, Editor

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Comanche Indian and Maiden track athletes competed at the regional track meet this past Friday and Saturday at Abilene Christian University. Eleven boys competed in both running and field events, while the lone girl, Gracy Schulte, competed for the Maidens.

Gracy ran the 1600m dash at the regional track meet.  Although she did not place, the freshman plans to stick with this race in the coming years and eventually try to advance to the state track meet in Austin. This race runs in the Schulte family, as her older sister Macy was a state champion in this event at the 2012 state track meet.

Freshman Gracy Schulte runs in the 1600m.

The Indians had two athletes compete in field events. Junior Trevor Higginbotham competed in long jump, and junior Matthew Hamilton competed in the discus throw. Neither Higginbotham nor Hamilton placed in the top eight, but both said they plan to be back to the regional meet next year with improved distances.

“I plan on making regionals next year and working throughout the year on my technique and form,” Hamilton said. “Also, I need to get a lot stronger, but that will come from summer workouts and football during the next few months. I am very excited for next track and field season.”

Joe Gilligan (110m hurdles), Jameson Allen (100m dash), Ty McCullough (200m dash), and the Indians 4×100 relay team (Jameson Allen, Chris Patterson, Colton Wilson, and Caden Jones) all competed in the running prelims on Friday. There were 16 competitors in each preliminary race, and unfortunately, none of these Indians advanced to the final eight spots.

The Comanche Indians did advance the 4×200 and 4×400 relays to the finals.

The 4×400 relay is composed of Ty McCullough, Caden Jones, Alan Schulte, and Grayland Jackson. They qualified eighth in the prelims on Friday by running a personal best time of 3:26.  On Saturday, the wind was howling and gusting up to 25 mph, and it definitely hindered the times in all races. The Indians did not run as fast of a time in the finals, but ended up finishing sixth overall.

The 4×200 relay was composed of Ty McCullough, Michael Constancia, Alan Schulte, and Grayland Jackson. The relay had the second fastest time in the preliminary race and ended up capturing the bronze medal on Saturday during the finals.

The top two teams in each event advance to the state track meet so the Indians were one spot short of advancing to state. There are nine lanes to fill at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin. Since there are four regions (with the top two competitors advancing from each region), the Texas University Interscholastic League takes the fastest third place time out of all four regions to fill the ninth lane as a wild card.  The Indians narrowly missed out on the wild card, as they were the second fastest third place time, only being edged out by a team out of Region 3.

Although the 4×200 missed out on the state track meet, they did manage to achieve one of the goals they had set at the beginning of the year. The Indian relay set a new school record, running a handheld time of 1:29:86, beating the previous handheld time record of 1:29:92 set in 2005.

CHS Track and Field coaches said they are happy with the way the track season went this spring. Although several athletes narrowly missed out on a chance to compete at the state meet in Austin, the athletes showed great toughness and competitiveness against tremendous athletes in the region.


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Elite track athletes compete at regional meet