The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


May 8, 2012

Athletes make it to state as wild cards


GREENVILLE —   To take advantage of a nine-lane track, the University Interscholastic League has added a ninth state qualifier to its state track and field meet.

  The ninth qualifier, called a wild card by the UIL, joins a field that includes the top two finishers in each of the UIL’s four regions. It’s the athlete with the best time or distance of the third-place finishers at each of the four regions.

  Athletes from Lone Oak, Wolfe City and Commerce have earned wild card spots in the UIL’s state meet that starts on Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

  Dakayla Reed of Commerce qualified as a wild card in the girls 3A long jump after placing third at the Region II-3A meet in Commerce. Though Reed was third in that meet her distance of 18 feet 4 inches ranks fourth among the state qualifiers.

  The Wolfe City Wolves’ 4x100-meter relay team of Devlon Wortham, Malik Gaffney, Justin Wilkinson and Dakota Thacker advanced as a wild card in Class A after placing third at the region meet in Palestine. The Wolves ran a time of 43.93 seconds, which ranks them eighth by time among the state qualifiers.

  Hanah Nichol of Lone Oak is also advancing in the Class 2A 3200-meter run as a wild card. Nichol’s time of 12:36.20 ranks ninth among the qualifiers.

  Nichol also made it in the 1600-meter run after winning the Region III-2A title with a time of 5:38.04.   She ranks eighth among the state qualifiers in that event.

  Three athletes from the local area are headed for return trips to state.

  Wolfe City shot putter Larisa Lewis will be making her third straight appearance after winning the Region III-A title with a heave of 38-9. Lewis finished third at state last year with a throw of 39-10 and was seventh in 2010 with a heave of 36-7 1/4. Her qualifying distance ranks her second to Vicki Neimeyer of Yorktown (39-11 1/4).

  Joseph Beck of Royse City tied for fifth last year in the boys 4A pole vault at 15-0. He cleared 15-0 at regional and ranks fourth among the state qualifiers but has cleared 16-1 this season at the Texas Relays, also conducted at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

  Buck Wilson of Commerce was eighth at state last year in the 3A boys triple jump with a leap of 44-7. He went 47-4 1/4 to finish second at the Region II-3A meet behind defending state champion Jarrion Lawson of Liberty-Eylau. Lawson got off the longest recorded high school jump this season, going 51-3 3/4.

  T.J. Pannell of Commerce ranks second among the boys 3A long jump qualifiers at 23-5. Lawson leads with a leap of 25-10 3/4.

  Grace Campbell of Cumby ranks fifth among the Class A girls 800-meter qualifiers at 2:28.13.

Wortham from Wolfe City ranks eighth in the boys Class A 200 meters at 22.75.

  Torie Talkington from Rains ranks ninth in the girls Class 3A 800 at 2:24.85.

  Ulisses Lopez of Royse City ranks ninth among the 4A boys 800 qualifiers with a 1:56.77.

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