The short wait was worth it for all of the Nolan County track athletes who placed third in their events this weekend in San Angelo at the Region II-1A, Division II meet. Theyâre going to state as âwild cardâ qualifiers at the Class 1A, D-II meet on May 9-10.
The UIL rule qualified three more athletes and relays â and nine more athletes, making 15 from Nolan County â to compete in less than two weeks at the University of Texasâ Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
There are a total of four regions in Texas. However, the best third-place regional finisher in the entire state for each event gets to join the two automatic regional quaifiers at the state meet. Nolan County had the best third-place times or distan-ces in the state for Class 1A, Div. II in the six regional events where its athletes had a third-place finish.
The three area athletes going to state after their third-place regional showings are Blackwellâs Jayden Jones in the boys pole vault, Highlandâs Hannah Allen in the girls 300-meter hurdles and Roscoeâs Jesus Leanos in the boys 1600 run.
But in reality, there were 14 area athletes â and three relays â who got a chance to compete, or compete again, at Austin (see list at right).
Roscoe now has two girls relays, in addition to a boys relay, going. Its 800 girls relay, with the same four runners as the state-bound 1600 girls relay, was third at regionals and advanced. The Roscoe boysâ 1600 relay was also third at regionals and is headed to state.
The countyâs other third-place regional relay came from Highland, where its girls 1600 relay advanced.
Roscoe has nine athletes going to state, the most of the three county schools represented; Highland has four and Blackwell two.
Speaking of Blackwell, Jones now gets to defend the state title he won last year and Matthew Lowry is also going back after quali-fying in the boys high jump in 2013. Beth Richburg of Highland goes back in three events, including a relay. She won a second-place medal in Austin last year for Highland in the girls 100 hurdles, and was fourth in the 300 hurdles. Richburg, Sierra Allen and Hannah Allen were on Highlandâs 1600 relay that was sixth at state last year and are back, joined this time by Madison Moseley. The other return-ing state medalist, Leanos, will try to add to his third-place medal in the 3200.