Five athletes, one relay headed to Austin in II-A

SAN ANGELO — Many of the Highland girls who went to Austin two months ago for the Lady Hornet basketball team’s first-ever state tournament appearance are going back to represent their school at the state track meet.Also making the trip wil be two Highland boys and a pair of Blackwell athletes — one girl and one boy. In all, the two schools captured eight medals — representing the work of five individual athletes and one relay — at the Region II-1A, Division II meet held this past weekend at Angelo State University.And all of them are going to the state track meet for the first time ever.Highland’s Beth Richburg is competing in three events at Austin. Richburg won the girls 100-meter hurdles in 15.88 seconds, and was second in the 300-meter hurdles (47.95 seconds) and a member of Highland’s sec-1600-meter relay that also placed second in a time of 4:21.37. Joining Richburg were Hannah Allen, Sierra Allen and Lora Stewart — a group that represented 80 percent of the basketball team’s starting lineup at the state tournament.Highland’s two boys rep-resentatives will be Sheldon Hall and Michael Hyde.Hall had a perfect day, blowing away his competi-tion to win the 400- and 800-meter runs Saturday in 51.99 seconds and 2:01.71, respectively. Hall was more than a second ahead of his nearest challenger in both of the races. Hyde had placed second in Friday’s pole vault with a leap of 12 feet, 9 inches.Blackwell’s Jayden Jones, who won the boys pole vault by going 13-1, will be joined in Austin by Stephanie Met-calf in the girls triple jump. Metcalf, like Jones, won a gold medal in her event by soaring 35-0. That makes a total of five gold medals as well as three silvers. And one or more bronze medalists from Nolan County may go to state as well. They include Mason Magness of Blackwell (12-3) in the boys pole vault, Matthew Lowry of Blackwell (6-0) in the boys high jump, and two Roscoe athletes, Jesus Leanos (10:29.34) in the boys 3200 run and Dillon Freeman (42.12) in the boys 300-meter hurdles.The Roscoe girls failed to land a top-three finish, but did place in two events. The best team showing was by the Highland girls, who tied for fourth with 36 points.Leanos was also fourth in the boys 1600 (4:56.96); the Roscoe girls’ 400 relay of Whitney Wiliams, Olivia Rovig, Olivia Saddler and Mirian Solis placed fourth (53.67); the Roscoe boys’ 1600 relay of Freeman, Landon Jones, Kevin Lava-lais and Shelton Toliver was sixth (3:38.56); Hannah Allen was fifth in the girls 300 hurdles (50.09); Met-calf was fifth in the girls long jump (16-4 1/4); Jones was fifth in the boys 100 dash (11.59); Saddler was sixth in the girls 100 hurdles (17.66); Jones was sixth in the boys discus (128-11 1/2); and Lavalais was fifth in the boys 400 run (54.01).The athletes who this weekend had the best third-place time or finish from the state’s four regions will also advance to the state meet May 10-11.