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AUSTIN â€” All four relay teams from Nolan County â€” three from Roscoe and one from Highland â€” had medal-winning efforts on Saturday at the Region II-1A, Division II state track meet.
Yet that magnificent feat had to share the headline with other great accomplishments that were turned in this weekend by local athletes in Austin.
It was, quite simply, an embarrassment of riches as no fewer than 14 area track athletes won medals in just seven events.
The final official tally on Saturday was one first-place gold (by Highlandâ€™s Beth Richburg in the girls 100-meter hurdles, her first gold medal after finishing second in the event in 2013); three second-place silvers (one by Jayden Jones of Blackwell in the boys pole vault, his second state medal in the event, one by Matthew Lowry of Blackwell in the boys high jump and one by the Roscoe girlsâ€™ 1600-meter relay of Eva Aguayo, Sunshine Talamantez, Lyndi Wilkinson and Whitney Williams); and four third-place bronzes (one each by Richburg in the girls 300-meter hurdles; the Roscoe girlsâ€™ 800-meter relay, con-taining the same four runners as the Plowgirlsâ€™ 1600 relay; the Highland girls 1600 relay, whose quartet â€” Hannah Allen, Sierra Allen, Madison Moseley and Richburg â€” provided a 2-3 finish for Nolan County in the event); and the Roscoe boys 1600-meter relay of Max Nemir, Shelton Toliver, Braiden Moore and Kevin Lavalais.
Richburg finished with three state medals this year, and four for her career. Her winning time in the 100 hurdles was 15.64 seconds â€” well below the 16.31 Richburg recorded in 2013 when she was the state runnerup. This time, she won by .86 seconds.
Richburg also claimed a medal in the 300 hurdles after just missing out on a medal in the event a year earlier, when she placed fourth. This time, Richburg recorded a third-place time of 49.10 for the bronze, and won another bronze medal on Highlandâ€™s 1600-meter relay. The Lady Hornets were beaten for the silver by Roscoe, which ran a 4:16.16 to Highlandâ€™s 4:17.62.
The Roscoe boys 1600 relay was timed in 3:30.09 to trail only Garden City and Bronte. The Roscoe girls won their second relay state medal with a time of 1:51.55 in the 800, behind only Cross Plains and Anton.
Jones ended his career by vaulting 13-6, equalling his gold-medal winning height of the previous year.
Lowry soared 6-2 in the high jump to claim his first state medal; he just missed getting one at Austin in 2013 when he was fourth.
The Highland girls 1600 relay also came through on their second chance at state this time, as they placed sixth a year earlier. In addition to Richburg, Hannah Allen and Sierra Allen also ran on the Lady Hornetsâ€™ 1600 relay in 2013. Hannah Allen was also seventh in the 300 hurdles (50.67) this year and Roscoeâ€™s Jesus Leanos (5:00.29) was sev-enth in the boys 1600-meter run. Leanos was seeking a second medal after a third-place bronze in the 3200-meter run last year.
The Roscoe and Highland girls tied for sixth place in the team standings with 28 points. Blackwell tied for 10th in the boys standings with 16 points and Roscoe had 12 to tie for 16th.
This was the second straight year for Highland to have girls state qualifiers in both track and basketball. In February, the Lady Hornets again advanced to the Class 1A, Division II semifinals before losing to Calvert at UTâ€™s Frank Erwin Center. All four of Saturdayâ€™s relay runners were starters on both state teams.
Both Jones and Sierra Allen will continue their careers at Abilene Christian University next year, Jones as a pole vaulter and Allen as a basketball player.