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High school track teams on pace for success

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Marcus High School’s Ryan Gossett, Ashton Hutcherson, Quinn Owen, and Maddy Reed won the 4X800 relay on April 2 at the Texas Relays in Austin with a time of 9:11.17. They broke their school record by 7 seconds, set a new stadium record and are currently ranked number one in the nation.
Marcus High School’s Ryan Gossett, Ashton Hutcherson, Quinn Owen, and Maddy Reed won the 4X800 relay on April 2 at the Texas Relays in Austin with a time of 9:11.17. They broke their school record by 7 seconds, set a new stadium record and are currently ranked number one in the nation.

With track and field season in full swing, the runners and field athletes of southern Denton County are preparing themselves for what looks to be another good showing in the postseason.

The region’s schools qualified numerous athletes for the Regional and State meets last season; and, with a lot of returning talent, 2016 could be even more successful.

Coach Steve Telaneus of Marcus High School said his girls have won every meet so far this year– by an average of 80 points– and his boys have won three out of four meets; and, are not yet at full strength.

The Marcus coach said he has a number of athletes he believes are primed for great seasons.

“Maddy Reed had the State and U.S. top time in the 3200-meters early in the season,” Telaneus said. “The girl’s relays have been outstanding. Maddy Smith, Diamond Blaylock, Nicole Ezeoke and Taryn Hankins have led the way. Kyndal McNight in the Triple Jump and MacKenzie Hayward in the Pole Vault have both been outstanding.

“The boys have had strong performances from Ian Braxton in the 100- and 200-meters and the 1600-meter run, along with relay partners Myles Wheeler, Davis Grunwald, Harrison Dodson and LJ Daniel. Jacob Franks is also currently number one in the Region at 15’6″(school record) in the pole vault.”

Telaneus said he could see all of these athletes winning District, and advancing to Region and/or State.

“Our goal is to win District, win area, have a top-three finish at Region and qualify a relay and some individuals to State,” Telaneus said.

Across town at Flower Mound, the Jaguars track and field team is also developing some great athletes. Coach Andrew Cook said that a couple of athletes are leading the way.

“On the boy’s side, we have had strong performances from Freddie Jackson in the 800- and 400-meters and 4×400 relay; and Addison Roberts in the 110-Hurdles and 300-Hurdles and 4×400 relay,” Cook said. “Freddie Jackson is one-second away from the school record in the 800-[meters] and currently has one of the top 15 times in the State in the 800.

“On the girl’s side, Tonia Adeyemi has done a great job of scoring points in several events. Her best event is the High Jump and she is currently the District leader with a jump of 5’4″,” he said.

Cook added that he believes that Luke Maddox (1600- and 3200-meters), Adam Haworth (Pole Vault), Delaney Zubrick (300-Hurdles), and Reagan Smith (Pole Vault) all have a great chance to advance to the area meet.

“Our goal every year is to prepare to be at our best for the District meet and try and advance as many runners as possible to the area, regional, and state meet,” Cook said.

Up at Guyer High School in Denton, girls coach Megan Hardesty said: “The girls have had a strong season so far and have given themselves a chance to compete for the District team title. All three of our Relays are ranked among the top in our district and we have several individuals having strong seasons and catching eyes of college recruits.”

Hardesty said she expects sprinter Taylor Tolen, and hurdler Savanna Steakley (Texas A&M-Corpus Christie recruit) to have among the best chances of a Regional and State berth this year.

On the boy’s side, Coach J.D. Aaron is equally impressed with his team and the effort his athletes are putting forth.

“Our kids have done exactly what we need them to do through the season so far, and that’s to compete at a high level and improve,” Aaron said. “We have seen times drop, distances/heights grow, and PR’s bettered. I have been impressed with the work the kids have put in and the dedication they show to the program.”

Aaron said he has a number of athletes he expects to have strong seasons.

“Senior Ethan Toy should have a great shot at winning District, and moving on to Regional and State-level competitions in the Long- and Triple Jump,” Aaron said. “Junior Javan Reece has been working very hard and come on as a great hurdler for us this year. He also has a great shot at District Championship and moving on to post-season meets. Our 4×100 (Ethan Toy, Christian Moore, Myron Mason, Brock Thompson) and 4×200 (Javan Reece, Myron Mason, Christian Moore, Brock Thompson) Relays have been steadily dropping their times and stand a good chance to move on to the area and Regional track meets.”

The Argyle boys and girls almost always represent their town well at Region and State and this season should prove no different.

On the boy’s side, Argyle returns Taylor Sweatt, who finished eighth in the state in the boys discus last season; Dane Ledford, who was eighth in the Triple Jump at State; and, Jake Van Patton, who finished eighth in the pole vault at State last season.

Ledford is also the only returning runner who helped the boys 4X400 team to a fourth place finish at State last year, and the Argyle boys were 13th overall at State.

On the girl’s side, Vivian Gray and Abbi Neece tied for first in the High Jump at the Fossil Ridge Panther Relays on March 24 and could make some noise this postseason.

Neece also took first at the Celina Bobcat Relays a few weeks before.

For the Liberty Christian Track and Field team, Coach Zach Vest said that he had 10 athletes qualify for the Texas Relays this season. He added that to this point, he is very pleased with what he has seen from his team.

“So far this season our girls have competed against some of the best in the area and have done a great job,” Vest said. “We finished first at the Celina Bobcat Relays and second at the Denton Ryan Relays and at Cleburne as a team.”

The athletes who qualified for the Texas Relays are: 4×100 Relay- Natilie Grigg, Alex Davis, Kayli Richardson and Maddie Willet; 4×200 Relay- Alyson Jones, Alex Davis, Kaylie Richardson, and Maddie Willet; 4×400 Relay- Alyson Jones, Natalie Grigg, Lexi Mahon and Elizabeth Reneau; 100-m – Maddie Willet; 100-m Hurdles- Eboni Washington; 1600-m – Elizabeth Reneau; Distance Medley Relay- Eboni Washington, Morgan Monschke, McKnezie Galagher; and, Elizabeth Reneau.

“Last year, we won our school’s first State Championship in girls track since 1997,” Vest said. “Our goal is to repeat as champions, but we know there will be several schools that have strong teams also.”

On the boy’s side, keep an eye on Josiah Liszewski, who finished first in the 800-meters and second in the 400- and 1600-meters at the Marshall Young Invitational on March 24.

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