UIL athletes head for Austin

Nolan County will be well-represented at this year’s UIL track and field meet.A total of 12 athletes — with at least one from all four county high schools — will be traveling to Austin’s Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus. Eleven athletes are competing at the state meet on Friday, when competition for Class 1A, Division II will be held (see schedule). Jesus Leanos of Roscoe (boys 3200-meter run) will be the first local athlete to compete at 8:20 a.m. Lea-nos — like all 12 of the local competitors — is making his first state appearance.Starting at about 8:30 a.m., three boys pole vaulters are competing — Michael Hyde of Highland and Jayden Jones and Mason Magness of Blackwell.About 30 minutes later, the Class 1A, Division II boys high jump competition begins with Matthew Lowry of Blackwell in the field.Friday afternoon features Blackwell’s Stephanie Met-calf in the Class 1A-DII girls triple jump at 3 p.m.Highland has a strangle-hold on the evening events, with Beth Richburg and Sheldon Hall each compet-ing more than once.Hall will be the first to compete, running the boys 800 at 6:20 p.m., before coming back to run in the 400 at 7:45 p.m. Richburg is in the girls 100-meter hurdles at 6:45 p.m., then runs in the girls 300-meter hurdles at 8:05 p.m. — and finally, a leg of the girls 1600 relay at 9:05 p.m. The other relay runners will be Sierra Allen, Lora Stewart and Hannah Allen.Richburg in the girls 100 hurdles (15.88) and Hall in the boys 800 (2:01.71) have the fastest qualifying times in their events and in the boys pole vault, Jones, Hyde and Magness rank 1-2-3 for the best qualifying heights.On Saturday, Sweetwater’s Nick Nemir will be competing at 8:05 p.m. in the Class 3A boys 300-meter hurdles. Nemir, Magness, Lowry and Leanos are going to state as the ninth, or wild card, qualifiers in their event.