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Southbound 35: Local athletes earn seven berths at state track and field meet
Only the best track and field athletes are able to advance to the state track and field meet and a handful of local standouts can now be considered part of that class.
Five individuals and a relay team from the Mesquite, Rowlett and Sunnyvale areas are headed to Austin for the state competition, which is scheduled for May 11-12 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.
Poteet's Lauren Nwegbo was the lone local athlete to qualify in two events after her performance at the Class 4A Region II meet at Maverick Stadium in Arlington.
Nwegbo took second place in the triple jump with a mark of 39-10. She was also the runner-up to district rival Eboni Cody of Lancaster in the 100 meters, finishing in a time of 12.07 seconds. Nwegbo nearly added another state berth, but came up just short with a third-place finish in the long jump.
Also at the Class 4A meet, the West Mesquite boys 400 relay team of Nate Davis, William Early, Cranston Jones, Trevon Jones, Eldridge Massington and Raashaan Reason placed second with a time of 41.66 seconds.
Three athletes earned state berths at the Class 5A Region II meet at Hart-Patterson Track Complex in Waco, including two that claimed regional championships.
Mesquite's Jordan Bracy raced past the field in the 110 hurdles, winning in a time of 14.06 seconds.
Rowlett's Travia Jones also claimed a gold medal at the regional competition, winning the 400 meters in a time of 55.33 seconds, nearly a full second faster than her closest competition.
Rounding out the Class 5A qualifiers is Horn's Rhenique Williams, who took second place in the 200 meters. Williams actually finished with the same time of 24.62 seconds as Judy Emeodi of Round Rock McNeil, but was nosed at the line.
The final state qualifier emerged from the Class 2A Region II meet at Oscar Fraser Track Complex at Tarleton State.
Sunnyvale's Andi Morgan was able to place second in the 100 hurdles in a time of 15.20 seconds as she earned the lone spot at state for the Raiders.
While that group will moving on for one final competition of the season, a few others narrowly missed out.
Williams almost added a qualifying berth in the 100, but finished third. That was also the case for Horn's Aatiyah Henry, Rowlett's Taylor Glenn and West Mesquite's Massington also had third-place finishes in the long jump, triple jump and 100 meters, respectively.