Silverton Lady Owls win Region I-1A team title, Happy boys earn fifth overall

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The Silverton Lady Owls won the Region I-1A track and field championship on Saturday at South Plains College in Levelland. [Craig Sperry/ Press Pass Sports]
LEVELLAND – The weather conditions were less than ideal on Saturday at the Region I-1A track meet on the campus of South Plains College but Silverton, led by the sister duo of Brenna and Maddie Francis, claimed the school’s first ever regional girls title by four points over second place Borden County.

Silverton finished with 62 total points to Borden County’s 58.

Brenna, a multi-sport standout, piled up 28 individual points on her own by taking gold in the long jump (17-feet-7 1/2 inches) and triple jump (35-8 3/4) on Friday then backed that up with a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles (16.92) plus anchoring the Lady Owls sprint relay team to a second-place finish with a time of 52.10.

Maddie did her part by capturing gold in the 300-meter hurdles (47.86) while taking part in the relay as well.

“They put in so much hard work all year long,” Silverton head coach Kevin Hurn said. “It took a team effort and I’m so proud of all of them to get this done.”

Silverton’s Brenna Francis scored 28 of the Lady Owls 62 team points during the Region I-1A track and field meet. [Craig Sperry/ Press Pass Sports]
That team effort is exactly how the Lady Owls won a title.

Lost in the performances by Brenna and Maddie is the seven big points that sophomore Melody Rampley picked up in three events that clinched the title. Despite not qualifying for a state event, Rampley finished in the top six in the 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs. Those points were the difference between a title and third place.

Nazareth finished fourth in the team standings, but the mile relay team of Chloe Birkenfeld, Maddie Brockman, Kelsie Gunter and Tatum Peterson grabbed first thanks to Peterson chasing down Borden County’s Kambell Schmidt on the back straight away and pulling away for a victory in 4:17.65.

The Swiftettes 800-meter relay team finished a close third while Birkenfeld added a bronze in the 400-meter race.

Valley’s Trinity Schlueter impressed the bundled-up crowd by grabbing gold in the 200-meter (26.82) and 400-meter (58.93) races while anchoring the Lady Patriots mile relay team to bronze.

In the 400, Schlueter used her long stride to finish over two full seconds ahead of the pack while edging Groom’s Taylor Ritter in the half-track sprint.

Taytum Goodman of Springlake-Earth highlighted the Region I-1A meet winning three gold medals on Friday and Saturday. [Craig Sperry/ Press Pass Sports]

Girls’ Medal notes 

As expected, the highlight of the two-day track meet was the prolific Taytum Goodman of Springlake-Earth. The diminutive runner with a sprinters pace took more three gold medals by blowing the competition away in the 3200-meter run (11:16.93), the 800-meter race (2:21.47), and the 1600-meter with a winning time of 5:16.49.

Goodman, a Texas Tech signee, will head to Austin looking to end her prestigious career with a historic 15 gold medals when it’s all said and done.

Wildorado’s Giselle Esparza walked away toting gold in the 100-meter hurdles clocking a 16.43 to edge Brenna Francis and went on to finish second to Maddie Francis in the 300-meter hurdles.

Other state qualifiers include the Hart sprint relay team that blazed a gold path over the competition of 51.38. Hart’s Mia Lopez also grabbed a silver in the discus event.

Freshman Faith Jackson of White Deer took silver in the 100-meter dash, Miami’s Mercedes Ewing and Madison Tyler of Lazbuddie leaped to a 1-2 finish in the high jump while McLean teammates Hailo Moon and Quin Billingsley each won gold. Moon won in the shot put and Billingsley in the pole vault to qualify for Austin.

Silverton’s Sawyer Francis claimed three silver medals during the Region I-1A track and field meet. [Craig Sperry/ Press Pass Sports]
Success wasn’t as widespread on the boys’ side, but multiple athletes still grabbed a trip to Austin.

The last name Francis from Silverton was a theme this weekend as Sawyer, cousin to Brenna and Maddie, grabbed silver in the long jump (21-1 3/4), as well as two more silver medals both hurdle events. Sawyer ran a 14.81 in the 110-meter hurdles followed by a 41.28 in the 300-meter race.

Lazbuddie’s Zeke Kasel was very impressive in earning double gold in both hurdle events. Kasel clocked winning times of 14.44 in the 110-hurdles and a 39.50 in the 300-meter event.

Happy was the highest placing Texas Panhandle team capturing fifth overall in the team totals but were 19 points behind Region I-1A champion, Whitharral’s 63 points.

Hayes Bressler of Happy is headed back to state in the pole vault using a 13-foot jump to take second. Bressler will be joined by teammate Brance Ferguson who finished third in the 3200-meter run on Friday and then a silver in the 1600-meter race Saturday.

Groom’s Noah Wood used a leap of 6-foot-3 to win gold in the high jump as Evan Kelley of Miami tossed the discus 135-4 1/4 for a gold medal of his own.

Silverton’s Carlos Alanis surprised the competition taking silver in the 200-meter race and Follett’s 800-meter relay squad of Eugenio Chavez, Caleb Tyson, David Meeks and Julian Barton edged Spur with a time of 1:34.16 to punch a ticket to Austin with a silver.

The UIL Class 1A state track and field meet is set for Saturday, May 4, at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

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