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HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD: Iraan, Wink, McCamey athletes earn state berths - Odessa American: Boys

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HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD: Iraan, Wink, McCamey athletes earn state berths

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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 12:28 am

Iraan added to its state-meet contingent Saturday with four athletes qualifying and a fifth claiming a second berth at the Region I-2A Track and Field Championships at Ratliff Stadium.

Two-time state medalist Axcel Santana won the boys triple jump, freshman Skylar Maurer won the girls pole vault and Emily McGhee won the girls 800. Camden Chaney advanced by finishing second in the boys 300 hurdles.

Iraan's Lynda Martinez, who won the girls 3,200 on Friday, added the 1,600 gold medal in addition to anchoring the 1,600 relay.

Wink had two athletes qualify as Wade Halterman won the boys 110-meter hurdles and Jonnah Smith finished second in the girls 800.

McCamey capped the meet by finishing second in the boys 1,600 relay, giving the Badgers their lone state qualifier.

Iraan also had two bronze medalists: girls pole vaulter Colbi Maurer and Clint Maurer in the boys 800.

The top two finishers in each event at the regional meet qualify for state. In addition, the top third-place finisher in each event from the four regional meets earns a wild-card berth to state.

The Class 2A state meet is scheduled for May 11-12 at Mike Meyers Stadium in Austin.

In the boys triple jump, Santana leaped 45 feet, 2 inches to finish ahead of Lockney's Jaden Rosales and Albany's Dax Neece. Santana, who earned a bronze medal at state in 2016 and silver last year, overcame an injury-plagued season to return to Austin.

“That was a whole lot better,” he said. “I opened up the season with tendinitis in my knee and then hamstring later on in the season and I've just been fighting it off.

“I'm just glad I could make it another two weeks despite what's been happening the entire season.”

Iraan boys coach Chad Tutle said Santana's mental approach was a major factor in extending his season.

“He's such a competitor and that's shown the last few years,” Tutle said. “When he's gotten to state, he's medaled both years. We're fighting for it this year, but his competitive nature is big.

“This is what he loves to do. He's going to compete. He's won a lot of meets, long jump or triple, toward the end on some of his later jumps if it's been tight, and that's just because he competes. He's going to go win.”

Santana's winning jump was his best of the season, but still more than a foot off his career best.

“My expectations were set high, but I didn't really know what I was going to jump, not having a whole lot of practice the last month and a half,” he said. “I just knew I was going to have to come out and compete, having Dax and (Rosales) jumping with me as well.”

In the girls pole vault, Skylar Maurer cleared 10-6 to win with Albany's Caroline Masters second at 10-3 and Colbi Maurer third at 10-0.

“They all went really high,” Skylar Maurer said of the competitive field. “I'm really lucky.”

She added that competing with her older sister helped her development this spring.

“It's nice having somebody to practice with and going over the same things,” she said.

Iraan vaulting coach Mark Kirchhoff said Skylar Maurer's consistency has been a key this season.

“She works her tail off, very consistent,” he said. “It was a really tough day to vault with the crosswind, then it turned into a headwind. Not ideal conditions, but pretty warm.

“With conditions like today, I thought Skylar was real consistent in her run and her mechanics were good. She got up and just competed well. I look forward to going to Austin and competing well there.”

Kirchhoff said he expected the Maurer sisters would need to have their best day to advance. They came in as the top two seeds with Skylar having cleared 10-6 and Colbi 10-0 at area,

“We knew going into the regional meet that there would be competition even though there hadn't been a lot of girls that had been to 10 foot,” Kirchhoff said. “Both of ours had and Sky had jumped real well at 11 a couple of times.

“I told them that when they got to 10 foot, there's going to be five girls left. And there were.”

With three competitors left as the bar was raised to 10-3, Colbi Maurer was ahead of Masters on misses.

“Colbi has been injured a lot this year and battled through that,” Kirchhoff said. “I thought she competed well today. She got after it.

“We got to 10-3 there and Caroline got over. That's pole vaulting. It was a big jump for the Masters girl to make right there.”

In the boys 110 hurdles, Halterman ran 14.84 to win by more than half a second over Claude's Brady Gabel.

“It was just doing all my work,” said Halterman, who had the fastest prelim time at 14.78. “I was doing it for my little sister and everyone that came and supported me.

“It's a dream. I've always wanted to go to state ever since I was little. It's just a big opportunity for me.”

In the girls 800, McGhee and Smith made it a District 6-2A sweep of the state berths. McGhee ran 2 minutes, 25.45 seconds with Smith second in 2:25.82. Smith, a sophomore, is also a two-time state qualifier in tennis.

Martinez ran 5:32.72 in winning the girls 1,600 over Claude's Mattie Lovell. Martinez moved into the lead on the second lap and steadily pulled away from the pack. Iraan's Kiara Hodge was fourth in the race, running 5:49.46.

In the boys 1,600 relay, McCamey's foursome of Trajan Johnson, Andre Tone, Nelson Bermudez and Gunner Adams clocked a time of 3:25.89 to finish 1.06 seconds behind winner Post.

In the boys 300 hurdles, Chaney ran 40.10 to finish behind winner Jet Cannon of Hale Center.

In the boys 800, Clint Maurer ran 2:03.32, finishing behind winner Steven Quintanilla of Sundown and Stratford's Blake Rios.

In Saturday's other field events, Iraan's Isaac Mendoza was fourth in the boys shot put at 46-9 and Van Horn's Jadein Tarango was fifth in the girls shot put at 36-3.

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