By Chris Boothe
AXTELL – Several local athletes put forth strong showings at Wednesday’s Area Meet, with many advancing to the Regional Meet next week. One of the top performers of the meet was Lovelady sophomore Alfred Simmons. Simmons advanced in three different events, with two coming as the first place finisher.
Simmons blew away the field in the 100m Dash, cruising to the win with a scorching time of 10.55, a half second ahead of the second place finisher from Normangee. Simmons added another first place finish in the 200m Dash with a time of 21.99, edging out another speedster from Normangee. Teammate Justis Kelley also advanced in the 200m Dash, placing fourth with a time of 22.68.
The Grapeland Sandies just missed out on advancing a pair of runners in the 110m Hurdles, with Jason Walker placing fifth with a time of 19.05, and Christopher Stephenson finishing just behind in sixth place.
Grapeland would pick up a win in the 1600m Run with sophomore Stephen Glenn taking first place in the distance event with a time of 5:18.28. Glenn would hold off Leon’s Travis Hillman and a slew of other runners to take home the top spot.
The relay events didn’t fail to impress as Lovelady took second in the 4x100m Relay behind Mart with a time of 43.93, while the Sandies placed fourth clocking a time of 44.74. Both teams will advance to the Regional Meet.
Grapeland would also qualify in the 4x200m Relay. The Sandies placed third overall in the event with a time of 1:33.43. The Sandies narrowly missed out on qualifying in the 4x400m Relay, placing sixth with a time of 3:48.39.
The field events wouldn’t be very kind to local athletes either with only one athlete advancing to the Regional Meet. Slocum’s Reagan Bowman took home first place in the Shot Put with a throw of 46’5”, two feet better than the second place thrower from Axtell.
A Regional Qualifier in the Discus last year, Lovelady’s Lucas Mauldin would miss out on the Regional Meet this year. Mauldin placed sixth overall with a throw of 104’ 11½”.
Overall the Lions would place sixth with 42 points while the Sandies placed eighth after garnering 36 points. Slocum would finish 11th with Bowman garnering their only points of the meet. Axtell took first place with 158 points.
The Regional Meet is scheduled for April 26 and 27 at Palestine High School.
For pictures and a complete recap of all area track results, as well as all other area sporting news, remember to check back in the Messenger. Remember to follow the Messenger on Facebook and check out our website at www.messenger-news.com. Chris Boothe can be reached at email@example.com.