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Lockhart competitors struggle at State Meet

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By Alonzo Garza
POST-REGISTER

Once again, the old adage of “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” rang true at the 2007 Track and Field UIL State Championships at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin this past weekend. Lockhart Lion Rory Tunningley and Lockhart Lady Lions Jamie Bennett, Aly Daily and Cece Smith participated in the Track and Field eve

nts on Friday, May 11.
The AAAA results of the day are as follows:
Rory Tunningley came in second in the Boys 3200 Meter Run with a time of 9:18.24. Earning a first place medal with a time of 9:16.59 was Drew Bean of Orange Little Cypress-Mauriceville. The third place medal in the same race went to Robert Najera from Mercedes who clocked in at 9:20.54.
The team rankings for the Boys 3200 Meter Run were, Orange Little Cypress-Mauriceville came in first, Lockhart second, Mercedes third with Mesquite Poteet at fourth, Katy Seven Lakes at fifth and the Hereford team finishing sixth.
Jamie Bennett ranked seventh in the Girls Discus throw with a mark of 108-04. The top three girls in the same event were first place discus thrower Christina Webb of Dallas Lincoln with a mark of 137-07, second place thrower Makayla Elliot of Stephenville with a mark of 132-03 and finishing in third place was Amanda Van Dyke of Pflugerville Connally with a mark of 132-00.
The top three teams in the Girls AAAA team rankings with three events scored were Beaumont Ozen, Dallas Lincoln and Mckinney North with 10 points each.
Aly Daily came in second in the Girls Pole Vault event with a height of 12’3”. Earning a first place medal with a height of 12’9” was Jessica Doyle of Buda Hays. Third place went to Laura Asimakis of Friendswood with a height of 12 feet even.
The top four teams in the Girls AAAA team rankings with four events scored were Dallas Lincoln, McKinney North, Buda Hays and Beaumont Ozen with 10 points each. Lockhart was ranked fifth with three other schools including, Stephenville, Kilgore and Hereford.
Cece Smith finished eighth in the AAAA Girls 100 Meter Dash with a time of 12.47. The top three finishers in that race were first place winner Tiffany Townsend of Killeen with a time of 11.21, second place winner Dominique Duncan of Houston Wheatley with a time of 11.52 and third place winner Vanessa Alderidge of Longview Pine Tree with a time of 11.93.
Smith finished eighth again in her second race clocking in at 58.09 in the Girls 400 Meter Dash. The top three finishers in the Girls 400 Meter Dash were Gabrielle Jackson of Mineral Wells who earned a first place with a time of 54.10, Alicia Peterson of Sherman earned a second place with a time of 54.22 and Lizzy Whitney of Montgomery placed third clocking in at 55.38.
Smith finished sixth in her third and last race of the night with a time of 25.15 in the Girls 200 Meter Dash. The top three finishers in that race were Townsend, with a time of 22.84+ for first place, Duncan with a time of 23.82 for second place and Nicquel Thomas of Houston Yates with a time of 24.10 for third place. Townsend broke two state records that night. The old state record for the Girls 100 Meter Dash was 11.28. The old state record for the Girls 200 Meter Dash was 23.04.
It was a beautiful clear day on Friday, perfect weather for the state meet. The first event I had to cover was the Boys 3200 Meter Run at 10:00 a.m. Tunningley was ready. He seemed confident and secure. The race was between the same four or five runners from beginning to end. Tunningley’s race was as good as it could have been. He ran a tremendous race. It was evident that all his hard work throughout the year had paid off. All the extra time spent running right after school and sometimes well into the night paid off big. To come in second in the whole state of Texas is nothing to be ashamed of. He could have easily settled for third, fourth or even fifth, but his will and determination pushed him on ahead. According to some of his teammates he would have managed to take the lead and finish first if only he could have had a little more time and a little more track left. He did give it his all.
The second event was at noon. With most of the people gone for lunch, Bennett competed in the Girls Discus Throw but could not muster up enough of what she had been able to bring to her event at the district and regional meets. Bennett seemed sluggish and her release and throw were really off. She fouled well over three or four times by hitting the poles on both sides. She definitely wasn’t getting her best results on Friday. The first five throws were as follows: First throw, fouled. Second throw, fouled (hit the right pole). Third throw was good but not far. Fourth throw was also good but shorter in distance than the third throw. Fifth throw, fouled (hit the left pole).
The next event was the Girls Pole Vault at 3 p.m. Aly Daily of Lockhart and Jessica Doyle of Buda Hays dominated the competition. They picked off each of their competitors easily until it became a one on one contest. Both girls jumped neck and neck until the bar was set at 12’6”. Daily failed her first attempt and adjusted her running start. She failed her second attempt then adjusted her start again. With everyone waiting in anticipation Daily sat and waited. After several seconds of contemplation, Daily got up and prepared for her third and final attempt. She failed her third attempt and the crowd gave out a collective sigh. Doyle was ready to go and to everyone’s amazement, cleared the bar in her first attempt. The contest was over and Daily was out. Doyle chose to continue setting the bar at 12’9”. She failed her first two attempts and cleared the bar willing herself over with the third try. Doyle would go on to fail all three attempts at 12’10 1/2”.
Finally, Cece Smith had her shot, running in the Girl’s 100, 400 and 200 Meter Dash. The races were scheduled in that order at 7:05 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 8:25 p.m.
Smith looked anxious from the first race on. She did not look well. It was as if she were getting ready to hyperventilate or simply break down crying. She never did either. During the first race, it appeared she was not ready to run. She was not concentrating on the race and it showed. Smith finished in eighth place in her first two races and in sixth place in her last race.
Congratulations to all the participants that made it to state. I want to thank both Coach Hippensteel and Coach Alfier for allowing me to be a part of their state meet experience. I look forward to next year. See you at the meet.
agarza@post-register.com

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