Canyon teammates Abree Winfey, left and Tia Glenn celebrate during the Region I-4A track meet at Lowrey Field PlainsCapitol Park in Lubbock on Saturday. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]
By Lance Lahnert
LUBBOCK— Message sent. With an exclamation point.
The Canyon High Lady Eagles reigned supreme Saturday pretty much dominating the talent-filled Region I-4A girls meet winning by a whopping 39.5 points over runner-up Argyle, and 56.5 points over third place Stephenville.
The Lady Eagles produced six gold medals, four silver medals producing standout performance after standout performance.
Leading the way were sophomore Abree Winfrey, junior Breanna Stewart and a strong showing Saturday morning in the field events.
Canyon veteran coach Ray Baca, his team a perennial state contender, praised Danielle Burns, Kashlee Dickinson and Whitney Willeford for jump starting Saturday’s impressive spent a ton on the medal stand.
Burns qualified for state in the shotput finishing second with a throw of 39-2, while Willeford surprised many with her second place effort in the long jump at 17-2.
Sophomore Dickinson was no surprise in the pole vault as she continued her dominating sophomore season winning gold at 12-3.
“Friday did not go as we had planned, so we knew we needed to get off to a good start in the field events Saturday morning,” Baca said. “Danielle, Kashlee and Whitney took care of their events and then it just snowballed.
“It was really good day for us.”
Canyon’s Abree Winfey won gold in three events during the Region I-4A track meet at Lowrey Field PlainsCapitol Park in Lubbock on Saturday. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]
It was really, really, really good day for sophomore Winfree who won the 800 (2:17.82), 300 hurdles (45.71) and anchored Canyon’s winning 1600 relay team (3:58.52).
Winfree took the baton in second place and swept past Argyle for the nearly two second win.
Willeford lead off the relay, while freshman Thalia Solis ran the second leg and sophomore Tia Glynn the third leg.
Solis acted nothing like an intimidated the freshman on the day where she also punched her ticket to state in 400 with a silver medal effort of 58.93.
Junior Stewart had opened the meet on Friday winning the 3200 in impressive fashion setting a regional record of 11:02.06, winning over Pampa’s junior Lexi Maul by 17 seconds.
Then on Saturday in the 1600 Stewart went out fast and so did her freshman sister, Hannah. While Breanna would set her second regional record of the meet winning in 5:06.18, Hannah was able to hold off determined Maul and earn a trip to state at 5:16.66 (Maul was third at 5:18.29).
The Stewart’s were all smiles after the 1600.
“It feels so good,” Hannah said.
“I’m so happy Hannah made it,” Breanna said. “Lexi edged Hannah out in the two-mile so she doesn’t get to go in that. I wanted to set a fast pace because I know Hannah likes that.”
Hannah held off Maul never letting her pass the final two laps. Maul did close some ground on the fourth and final lap.
“I heard people telling to go, go, go, so I’m like ‘I’m pretty sure she is there,” Hannah said. “I had to pick it up.”
Said Brenna: “It’s going to be so cool lining up next to her at the state meet.”
Canyon’s Rafe Butcher set the meet record in the 400 meter run during the Region I-4A track meet at Lowrey Field PlainsCapitol Park in Lubbock on Saturday. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]
Canyon’s boys didn’t win regionals, but in placing fifth saw some outstanding efforts in gold medal performances from long distance runner Samuel Ashley and record-setter Rafe Butcher.
Senior Ashley won the 3200 on Friday and set a regional record in 9:37.98. Then on Saturday he stayed up front in the 1600 eventually earning a silver medal and a trip to state at 4:25.80.
“The heat did get to me,” Ashley said of the temperatures in the 80s. “I was dead before I started in the 1600. I was in the shade but I guess it got to me. But I decided to go out strong, man, and the best I could do today was just go as fast as I can.”
The muscular Butcher was definitely running as fast as he can in the 400.
Butcher was strong throughout and set the regional record at 48.29.
Dumas sprinter Cade Cox helps lead the Demons to gold in the 1600 meter relay during the Region I-4A track meet at Lowrey Field PlainsCapitol Park in Lubbock on Saturday. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]
Dumas finished third in the team boys race with 52 points and put on display impressive relay runs.
Dumas closed out the 4A meet winning the 1600 in a fan-favorite race as anchor Cade Cox (a West Texas A&M football signee) held off Decatur and Andrews.
Dumas clocked a 3:21.85, while Decatur was second in 3:21.93 and Andrews was in third at 3:22.97.
Sophomore Oliver Ortiz opened the Dumas 1600, followed by sophomore and pole-vault state qualifier Emmanuel Ibanez, then senior Christian Carerra handled the third leg.
Ibanez finished second in the pole vault at 15-0.
Dumas also punched its ticket to state the 400 Relay placing second in 42.30, 11 hundredths of second behind first place Argyle.
The Dumas girls will be represented at state by sophomore Sarai Chavez who placed second in the 800.
The University Interscholastic League Class 4A state track and field meet is set for Thursday, May 6, at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
For full results of the Region I-3A track meet, visit http://spato.us/
Amarillo-area state qualifiers
Rafe Butcher, Canyon, 48.29
Samuel Ashley, Canyon, 4:25.80
Samuel Ashley, Canyon, 9:37.98
400 meter Relay
Dumas (Oliver Ortiz, Christian Carerra, Cade Cox, Louis Ortiz), 42.30
800 meter Relay
1600 meter Relay
Dumas (Oliver Ortiz, Emmanuel Ibanez, Christian Carerra, Cade Cox), 3:21.85
Emmanuel Ibanez, Dumas, 15-0
Kaleb Hughes, Borger, 51-1 1/4
Thalia Solis, Canyon, 58.93
Abree Winfrey, Canyon, 2:17.82
Sarai Chavez, Dumas, 2:21.86
Breanna Stuart, Canyon, 5:06.18
Hannah Stuart, Canyon, 5:16.56
Breanna Stuart, Canyon, 11:02.06
Lexi Maul, Pampa, 11:19.55
Abree Winfrey, Canyon, 45.71
400 meter Relay
800 meter Relay
1600 meter Relay
Canyon (Whitney Willeford, Thalia Solis, Tia Glynn, Abree Winfrey), 3:58.52
Whitney Willeford, Canyon 17-2
Kashlee Dickinson, Canyon, 12-3
Danielle Burns, Canyon, 39-2