By DAVID CLAYBOURN
The Rains Ladycats will defend their team title today at the 29th Annual Avon Rice Relays in Emory.
The track and field meet starts at 8 a.m. with the 3200-meter run and pole vault. The running preliminaries will begin at 9 a.m., with the running finals to commence at 2 p.m.
Along with Rains, other teams expected to compete include Greenville Phoenix, Dallas Gateway, Royse City, Kemp, Kaufman, Como-Pickton, Miller Grove and Overton.
Rains ran away with the girls team title last year, scoring 230 points with the help of freshman Charlotte Brown and senior Torie Talkington. Talkington now competes for Texas Woman’s University in volleyball but Brown will be back to score more points after winning the 100-meter dash (12.74 seconds), the high jump (4 feet 11 inches) and pole vault (9-6) at last year’s meet, plus finishing second in the 400 meters (1:04.00) and 4x400-meter relay.
Sulphur Springs won the boys team title last year, followed by Overton, Hawkins and host Rains.
Both Rains teams won the team titles last week at the Jesse Hawthorne Relays in Commerce.
The meet is named for the late Avon Rice, a stellar track and field athlete from Campbell who set a conference record at East Texas State in the long jump (24-10 1/2) and was a longtime school administrator at Rains.
Avon Rice Relays
8 a.m. — 3200-meter run, JV-G, JV-B, V-G,V-B
8 a.m. — Pole vault, V-B, V-G, JV-B,JV-G
9 a.m. — V-G discus, triple jump high jump; JV-G shot put, long jump.
9 a.m. — Boys running preliminaries
10 a.m. — V-G shot put, long jump; JV-G discus, triple jump, high jump.
11 a.m. — Girls running preliminaries
2 p.m. — Running finals