In a quick turnaround, Meridian boys and girls tracksters shine at the District 19/20 Area Championships to advance to Class 1A, Region IV Championship meet
With only four days to celebrate a stellar performance at the District 20-1A Track & Field Championship, the Meridian boys and girls track teams turned their attention to the next challenge at hand. Delivering their best performances when they needed them most, the Meridian teams overcame a slow start to their season due to renovation at their stadium to shine at district held at Jacket Stadium April 4 and 6.
Running away with the overall team district championship, the Meridian boys scored 156 point to take the title ahead of runner-up Iredell with 124 points, followed by third place Blum with 110 points. The Lady Jackets placed third in the overall team standings with 104 points behind district champion Blum with 208 points and runner-up Iredell with 122 points.
“We were very excited about winning the district meet on the boys’ side, “Meridian boys track head coach Grant Schur said. “That was something we had set as a goal early on and thought we could do. We are pretty banged up right now with some hamstrings, quads, and shins, so time wise we aren’t running what we are capable of yet, but that’s alright.”
With little time to heal just four days later, the Meridian boys sent 10 athletes competing in 14 events while the Lady Jackets were represented by 10 athletes competing in 11 events at the District 19/20-1A Area Championships held April 10 at Bob and Norma Cervetto Stadium in Dublin.
With the Meridian boys team placing second overall with 111 points behind area champion Gordon with 160 points, the Jackets will be sending 10 athletes to compete in 10 events at the Class 1A, Region IV Track & Field Championships held April 28-29 at Whitney High School.
“It was a real quick turnaround from district to area,” Schur said. “We got everything out to regionals from area that we thought we would. Like I said, we have some guys fighting through some injuries, so our main focus at area was just to make it out to regionals and have 18 days to try to heal up. That is the positive side of having that quick turnaround from district to area. Now, we have some time to try and get guys healed up.”
Meridian boys advancing to regionals include John Bernal and Dustin Bowers in the 100-meter dash, Jesse Scott and Jordon Sheffer in the 110-meter hurdles, Dustin Padgett in the 400-meter dash, Bowers in triple jump, Bernal in long jump, Matty Jones in high jump, and Junior Rodriguez in pole vault.
The Jackets will also be sending all three relay teams, including Rodriguez, Bowers, Padgett and Braxton Allen in the 4×100-meter relay, Jones, Ian Gomez, Allen and Rodriguez in the 4×200-meter relay, as well as Padgett, Bowers, Rodriguez and Allen in the 4×400-meter relay.
“Most of the time going into regionals, you are running your best times and hoping to maintain or slightly improve, “Schur said. “Right now going into the regional meet, we haven’t even come close to what we are capable of time-wise. I also haven’t ever had this big of a gap from the area meet to the regional meet. Normally. I would hate that. But with how we are right now injury-wise, it is really a blessing in disguise. I am pretty excited to see what we can do at the regional meet. It has definitely been a good track season so far.”
Advancing to regionals for the Lady Jackets include Abigail Lucas in the 100-meter dash, Summer Chen in the 300-meter hurdles, Mackenzie Borhofen in pole vault as well as both Meryl Roberson and Dyna Potter will compete in the 800-meter run.
“We have five girls advancing to the Regional Qualifier Meet, which is huge for the girls program since they haven’t been in years,” Meridian girls track head coach Teandria Taylor said. “Each athlete went out and competed to their best ability and worked hard doing it. I’m proud of the group of girls that I was blessed with. I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls.”
Home Sweet Home: Competing newly-renovated Jacket Stadium, the Meridian boys win the team title, Lady Jacket place third in the District 20-1A Track & Field Championships
Delivering their best performances when they needed them most, the Meridian boys and girls track teams overcame a slow start to their season due to renovation at their stadium to shine at the District 20-1A Track & Field Championships held at Jacket Stadium March 29. In the process, the Jackets advanced 13 athletes competing in 11 events in Area as nine athletes competing in 11 events will represent the Meridian girls at the District 19/20-1A Area Championships held April 4 & 6 at Bob and Norma Cervetto Stadium in Dublin.
“This track season is really different from any track season I have had as a head track coach in my seven years as a head track coach,” Meridian boys track head coach Grant Schur said. “Usually, at this time of year, you are just working on fine tuning things, but we are still getting better. We just have a bunch of really great kids here that work hard, and like to go compete. They make our job really easy and a lot of fun.”
Dominating the boys relay events, Meridian claimed the gold medals in the 4×100-meter relay manned by Alejandro Rodriguez, Dustan Bowers, Dustin Padgett and John Pablo Bernal and the 4×400-meter relay run by Padgett, Bowers, Rodriguez and Bernal, while the 4×200-meter relay team consisting of Brayden Wehmeyer, Ian Gomez, Cooper Arthur and Rodriguez brought home the bronze.
Individual medalists for the Meridian boys in the running events were Bernal taking the gold and Bowers claiming silver in the 100-meter dash, Jones grabbing the bronze in the 200-meter dash, Padgett winning the gold in the 400-meter dash, Jesse Scott capturing the gold and Jordon Sheffer taking the bronze in the 110-meter hurdles before Scott claimed the silver in the 300-meter hurdles, and Arthur finishing fourth in 200-meter dash to earn a trip to area.
In the boys field events, Jones won the gold medal in high jump, Bernal took the silver in the long jump, and Bowers claimed the silver in triple jump
In the District 20-1A girls relay events, the Lady Jackets took the silver medal in the 4×100-meter relay manned by Journey Stauffer, Jasmin Brown, MacKenzie Borhofen and Canyon Stauffer, as well as claiming a silver medal in the 4×200-meter relay.
Individual medalist in the running events for the Lady Jackets include Abigail Lucas winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash, Summer Chen captured the silver medals in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles, Meryl Roberson taking the bronze in the 800-meter run, while Dyna Potter finished fourth in the 800-meter run to advance to area.
In the field events, Lady Jacket medalists included Brown winning the gold medal in high jump, and Borhofen taking the silver medal in pole vault, while Journey Stauffer finished fourth in long jump and Aletheia Sandley placed fourth in both the discus and shot put to advance to area.
“Everyone that competed at the District Track Meet competed well,” Meridian girls track head coach Teandria Taylor said. “We had 10 girls qualify in many different events to go to the Area Track Meet. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s efforts throughout the year. These girls were phenomenal and worked hard.”
Photos by WENDY OROZCO
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