in Track & Field

After strong performance in Hamilton, Clifton boys & girls track teams head to District 17-3A Track & Field Championships; Cubs take third place, Lady Cubs finish fourth overall at Annual Cub Relays

In their final tune-up before the District 17-3A Track & Field Championships, the Clifton boys and girls track teams turned it up a notch at the Hamilton Extraco Relays last Thursday. By claiming medals in all three relay events, the Clifton boys finished as the runner-up in the overall team standings, just 3.5 points behind meet champion Tolar. In the meantime, the Lady Cubs walked away with the third place plaque with 85 points behind meet champion Hamilton (167) and runner-up Hico (120.5).

Riding the momentum of their performances in Hamilton, the Clifton boys and girls will compete in the District 17-3A Track & Field Championships against Grandview, Keene, Maypearl, West and Whitney on April 3 and 5 at Whitney High School’s Wildcat Stadium.

Individually for the Clifton boys at the Hamilton meet, Anthony Lingo captured the gold medal in long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 2.25 inches, settled for the silver in the triple jump and sprinted to a silver in the 200-meter dash, while Riley Finney took the gold in discus with a toss of 125 feet, seven inches and just missed a medal in shot put with a fourth place finish.

“We were extremely pleased with the way both teams competed in their final track meet before district,” Clifton boys track and field head coach Mario Villalpando said. “The Junior Varsity team won the track meet with a total of 203 points, and the Varsity finished second overall just four points away from first place. Both teams have worked hard all season and are ready to compete for a district championship.”

In a dominating performance by the Cub relay teams, Lingo, Jesus Lopez, Ray Ochoa and Westen Urbanovsky manned the gold medal 4×400-meter and 4×200-meter relay teams, while Levi Knox, Camdyn Mobley, Larrett Thomas and Ochoa teamed up for the bronze medal in the 4×100-meter relay.

Other medalist for the Clifton boys included Jorge Devora taking the silver in high jump, while bronze medalists were Westen Urbanovsky in the 200-meter dash, Clay Kennedy in the 3200-meter run and Brody Baggett in 300-meter hurdles

For the Lady Cubs, Camy Barsh, Carley Caniford, Brylee Heim and Alexa Lane manned the gold medal 4×200-meter relay team, while Barsh, Caniford, Heim and Kate Humphreys claimed the bronze medal in the 4×100-meter relay.

Other Lady Cub medalist included Evy Kennedy capturing bronze medals in both the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs, while Reagan Thomas won a bronze in triple jump and Alexa Lane took the bronze in pole vault.

“I was very pleased with the way our athletes performed at the Hamilton meet,” Clifton girls track and field head coach Ryan Hunt said. “It was a good way to head into next week’s district meet. Now, we are getting into the big meets, and we put a lot of emphasis on working toward this point in the year. We hope that it will lead to some of our best performances of the year.”

Strong relay teams set the pace for Cubs, Lady Cubs

Behind strong performances by their relay teams, the Clifton boys and girls track teams held their own as they hosted the Cub Relays last Thursday at Cub Stadium. The Clifton boys placed third in the team standings with 126 points behind meet champion Troy (151) and runner-up West (143.9), while the Lady Cubs finished fourth with 101.5 points behind first place Hamilton (144), followed by Troy (121) and West (115).

Individually, Clifton junior AJ Lingo captured the gold medal in the 200-meter dash and sophomore Ray Ochoa placed first in the 400-meter dash, while freshman Alexa Lane claimed the gold medal in long jump.

“Overall, both teams had a great showing at Cub Relays,” Clifton boys track head coach Mario Villalpando said. “Our JV team came away with the team championship, and Varsity finished in the top three. A majority of the athletes had their season best performance Thursday night, which is what we want as we get closer to the district meet. With one more track meet left before district, we look to continue that trend next Thursday in Hamilton.”

Medaling in all three relay events, the Cubs – manned by Lingo, Jesus Lopez, Ochoa and Westen Urbanovsky – captured the gold medal in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:25.15, while Levi Knox, Lingo, Camdyn Mobley and Westen Urbanovsky teamed up for the bronze medal in the 4×200-meter relay, after Knox, Mobley, Ochoa and Larrett Thomas took third place in the 4×100-meter relay.

Individually for the Clifton boys, Lopez took the silver medal behind Ochoa in the 400-meter dash, Clay Kennedy captured the bronze medal in the 3200-meter run, Peyten Urbanovsky placed third in the 300-meter hurdles, while Lingo claimed the silver medal in long jump as well as the bronze in triple jump.

“The varsity team this year is an experienced group with 13 runners returning from last year’s team,” Villalpando said. “Our main goal for this year is to win a district team championship. District realignment sent us in the opposite direction from the previous two years. There are a couple familiar opponents in this year’s district, but a majority of the district opponents are new.”

The Lady Cubs delivered strong performances in the relay events as well as Camy Barsh, Carley Caniford, Brylee Heim and Kate Humphreys captured the gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay before Barsh, Caniford, Heim and Lane teamed up to take first place in the 4×200-meter relay.

Individually for the Lady Cubs, Brianna Gonzalez claimed the bronze in the 100-meter hurdles, Lenora Busby captured the silver medal in shot put followed by twin sister Taryn Busby with the bronze, Humphreys won the silver medal in discus, while Lane placed third in pole vault.

“We had some good performances at the Clifton meet,” Clifton girls track head coach Ryan Hunt said. “We were able to win two of the relays at the varsity level, and we ended up with some season best performances at both the varsity and JV level. 

“District is fast approaching and the Hamilton meet is going to be an opportunity to continue some of the consistency that we have had this year. The goal right now is to move on past distinct in as many events as possible and I feel like we have put ourselves in position to do that.”

After the Clifton boys and girls get their final dress rehearsal at the Hamilton Invitational this Thursday, both teams will head to the District Championships held in Whitney April 3 and April 5. And following a preview of the district competition in the first meet of the season at the Whitney Invitational March 2, the Cubs and Lady Cubs like their chances.

“Overall, I felt that both teams performed well for the first track meet of the season,” Villalpando said. “Both the junior varsity and the varsity teams placed second overall in the team standings. We were able to get a good preview of what to expect for the district track meet with three other schools from our district attending this track meet as well.”


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