By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Rains sophomore Charlotte Brown, who is to receive a special award at the University Interscholastic League state track and field championships, made a strong bid on Friday to also make it to Austin as a competitor.
Brown, who’ll be the 2013 Section 6 recipient of the National High School Spirit of Sport Award on May 11, took third place in the Region II-3A pole vault at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Brown matched her career-best by clearing 11 feet 6 inches. Brown cleared the same height as two vaulters from Longview Spring Hill, Casey Rice and Lindsey Sechrist, but they were awarded first and second places on the basis of fewer misses.
The top two finishers automatically qualify for the Class 3A state championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin but Brown still could get in as a “wild card.” The ninth best mark among the eight qualifiers from the four regions in the state earns the “wild card” berth.
“I equaled my personal best,” said Brown. “That was a plus. I think I have a possible chance of getting in as a wild card.”
On three of her misses Brown cleared the height but her pole knocked the bar over. At the judge’s discretion the vault can still count if the vaulter makes a sincere effort to push the pole away before the wind blows the pole into the bar. Had those three misses not counted she would have finished higher in the final standings.
“It’s a wind rule,” said Brown. “I do believe I made an attempt to throw it back. I respect the judge’s call. He’s been doing it for a while.”
Brown had a busy day on Friday at Memorial Stadium. She qualified for today’s 100-meter dash finals with the sixth-fastest time in the preliminaries at 12.76 seconds. Chassity Love of Frisco Lone Star led with a 12.16.
Brown just missed qualifying for today’s finals in the 200-meter dash, running the ninth-fastest preliminary time at 26.44. Antonisha Stewart of Ranchview led with a 24.95.
Brown was also scheduled to run a leg on Rains’ 4x400-meter team that ran the 11th-fastest preliminary qualifying time of 4:10.99.
Brown, who is legally blind, will represent the Southwest region of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico when she receives her award presented to an individual that has demonstrated “exemplary sportsmanship and citizenship,” has “exceeded normal expectations in assisting others within the school or community” or has “overcome adversity or a challenging circumstance.”
Her brother, Lachlan Brown, qualified for today’s boys 400-meter finals with the eighth-fastest time at 51.26. He’s a Rains senior who is headed to Purdue University.
Violet Williams of Nevada Community finished fourth at the Region II-3A discus in Commerce with a toss of 108-9. Madi Wilson of Sanger won with a throw of 116-4.
Jesse Hudson of Rains was fifth in the boys pole vault, clearing 13-0.
Grant Russell from Rains was sixth in the long jump at 21-11.
The Greenville Lions’ top two distance runners finished seventh in the Region II-4A 3200-meter run at Texas-Arlington’s Maverick Stadium on Friday.
Connon Hudson, who was the area champion, ran a 10:07.06 in the 3200-meter run to finish seventh. Carter Blunt of Frisco Heritage won with a 9:26.61, followed by Troy Harden of Whitehouse (9:30.86).
Greenville’s Mya Hudgins, who was third at the area meet, clocked a 12:10.29 to finish seventh in the girls 3200. Natalie Rathjen from Highland Park won with a 10:46.25, followed by Katie Ruhala of Lucas Lovejoy at 11:06.44.
James Brown of Royse City was seventh in the shot put with a throw of 48-1/4, while Greenville’s Hunter Smith finished ninth with a best of 46-9 1/2.
Royse City’s girls 4x200-meter relay team did not make today’s finals after clocking the 14th fastest time in the preliminaries at 1:48.25. Lancaster led at 1:39.12.
Britney Smith of Greenville ran the 13th fastest qualifying time in the girls 200 with a 26.94. Marika Brown of Little Elm led at 24.37.
Royse City’s boys 4x400-meter relay team ran the 12th fastest qualifying time with a 3:30.57. Texas High of Texarkana led with a 3:18.57.
Today’s meet resume at 10 a.m. with the first of the remaining field events. The running finals start at 4 p.m. with the 4x100-meter relay.
The Leonard Lady Tigers qualified two athletes to the state meet with top-two finishes on Friday at the Region II-2A meet in Stephenville.
Chelsea Brockus of Leonard won the girls 3200-meter run with a time of 11:51.07. Rebecca Parsons of Caddo Mills was fifth at 12:11.45 and Amy Grier from Leonard finished with a 12:42.38.
Brittyn Rushing of Leonard was second in the girls long jump, leaping 17 feet 4 inches. Lauren Bedrich of Rogers won with a best of 17-10 3/4.
Jaelon Clark of Farmersville was sixth in the boys long jump at 21-3 3/4. Tyler Salazar of Rosebud-Lott won with a leap of 22-11 1/2. Daxx Hill from Caddo Mills was 10th at 20-4 3/4.
J’Kaylee Clark of Farmersville qualified with the second fastest time in the girls 400-meter dash preliminaries at 1:00.94.
Ashley Gilstrap from Caddo Mills qualified for today’s finals with the eighth-fastest time in the girls 200-meter preliminaries at 26.53.
Lauren Laisure from Farmersville qualified for the girls 800 finals with the fifth-fastest time of 2:29.69.
Farmersville’s 4x100-meter girls relay team of Karlee Young, J’kaylee Clark, Maranda Craddock and Cheyenne Taylor ran the seventh-fastest qualifying time of 51.04.
Daniel Buckaloo of Leonard made the boys 800-meter finals with the eighth-fastest time of 2:08.53.