By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Rains pole vaulter Charlotte Brown will be advancing as a competitor to the state meet.
So will nine other area athletes in 10 events at the University Interscholastic League State Track and Field Championship on May 10-11 at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
The top two finishers at each of the four region meets around the state qualified for state along with a “wild card” qualifier, the athlete with the best mark of the non-qualifiers from each of the regions.
Brown, though she finished third in the girls pole vault at the Region II-3A meet in Commerce, learned this week that she’s advancing as a “wild card.” She cleared 11 feet 6 inches in Commerce to match the same height as Longview Spring Hill vaulters Casey Rice and Lindsey Sechrist. Rice and Sechrist were awarded first and second on the basis of fewer misses.
But Brown’s height of 11-6 was the best of the non-qualifiers. Not only that but it ranks her tied with Rice and Sechrist for the second-best qualifying mark behind Kally Long of Wimberley with a height of 12-8.
After Brown competes at 11 a.m. on May 11 in the pole vault she’ll be the 2013 Section 6 recipient of the National High School Spirit of Sport Award during a special ceremony on the infield at Myers Stadium. Brown is representing the Southwest Region, which includes athletes from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico.
Brown’s classmate, Grant Russell, will compete in the boys Class 3A triple jump at 1 p.m. on May 11. Russell qualified with the eighth-best mark of 44 feet 10 1/4 inches. Jadon Durity of Liberty Hill leads the triple jump qualifiers at 48-1 1/2.
Commerce’s Buck Wilson, who was second in the Class 3A triple jump last year at state, is advancing in two events this year in Class 2A. Wilson qualified with the fourth-best triple jump at 45-2 and will compete in that event at 7 p.m. on May 10. Wilson will then run the 300-meter hurdles at 2:05 p.m. on May 11. He qualified with the fourth-fastest time in that event at 39.39. Devonte Steele of Marlin leads the 2A triple jumpers with a leap of 46-4 3/4. Wilson jumped 48-1/2 last year. Colton Chadbourne from Winona leads the 300 hurdles qualifiers at 38.44.
Lone Oak is sending two runners to state this year. Trevor Hemphill qualified with the ninth-fastest time in the 2A boys 800-meter run at 2:00.56. Hemphill finished second to Cody Hammond of Warren at the Region III-2A meet in Whitehouse. He’ll run that event at 12:20 p.m. on May 11. Hanah Nichol of Lone Oak was second in the girls 1600-meter run at Whitehouse, giving her the ninth-fastest time of the qualifiers with a 5:41.58. She’ll run at 2:45 p.m. on May 11. Ann Marie Dunlap of Crawford leads the 2A 1600 runners with a 5:12.37. Olin Moody from Crawford is tops among the 2A 800 qualifiers with a 1:56.69.
Leonard is also sending two athletes in Class 2A. Chelsea Brockus ran the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the 3200 at 11:51.07. She’ll run in that race at 9:20 a.m. on May 10. Brittyn Rushing of Leonard qualified with the ninth-best mark in the 2A girls long jump at 17-4. She’ll compete in that event at 1:30 p.m. on May 10. Carley Glass from Luling leads in the 3200 with an 11:26.56. Jacinda Sanchez of Sonora leads the 2A long jumpers at 18-3 1/2.
Ulisses Lopez from Royse City, fifth last year in the 4A boys 800-meter run, heads into this year’s race with ninth-fastest qualifying time of 1:57.10. He’ll run that event at 6:20 p.m. on May 10. Michael Johnson of San Elizario tops the 800 list with a 1:55.45.
J’Kaylee Clark from Farmersville clocked the third-fastest time among the nine qualifiers in the 2A girls 400-meter run at 59.06. She’ll run that event at 1:45 p.m. on May 11. Payton Baker from Gunter leads the qualifiers with a 57.76.
Cody Harbin from Wolfe City made it to state for the first time in the Class A Division I high jump, winning the region title with a clearance of 6-2. Harbin, who ranks fourth among the qualifiers, competes at 2 p.m. on May 10. Dayton Fisher from Sudan leads the high jump qualifiers at 7-1.