Bandera track stars advance to area
By Sandy Jennings BCC Contributor
Bandera brought home six district titles from the 27AAA District track meet at Canyon Lake High School this past week and advanced 18 athletes to the UIL District 27-28AAA Area Meet, held this week at LaVernia and Canyon Lake High Schools.
The Bandera boys placed 3rd as a team with 105.5 points, behind Wimberley(170.33) and Fredericksburg(169), and earned five district titles. Four of those District titles belong to juniors Corey Jennings and Noah Nelson.
Nelson ran away with two gold medals in the 110M (15.51) and 300M (40.28) hurdles, qualifying for Area in both events. Nelson, who also placed 5th in Triple Jump and 6th in the 4X400M Relay, has no problem picking his favorite event.
"The 300s (hurdles) is my favorite race because it's more of a challenge," Nelson said. "It feels like a greater accomplishment when you finish that race--especially with a gold medal!"
Jennings dominated the throwing events, earning gold in the Discuss (135'11") and Shot Put (46'21/2"), qualifying for Area in both. Even though the distances were not a PR for Jennings, being able to compete without obstacles and win was a celebration. Last year, Jennings suffered a severe injury to his ankle a week before district, landing him in a boot. Jennings threw anyway, placing 3rd in both events, one place shy of qualifying for Regionals.
"It feels awesome to know all of my hard work and determination have been worth it," Jennings said. "Knowing I lost my opportunity last year, fueled my drive to make it as far as I possibly can this season."
Senior Jonathan Stoufflet and juniors Landon Ventura, Alex Willoughby and Kyle Bauml earned the final district title in the 4X200M Relay with a time of 1:33.22, qualifying for Area. The team has been working hard to ensure a place in the top four, in order to qualify for Regionals.
"We need to work on our handoffs, but our strength is we're fast and have the will to win," Ventura said. "Being the first team to win a gold in the 4X2 (relay) for Bandera in a long time gives us the drive and determination to know we can beat anyone and go to the next level!"
Also qualifying for the Area meet are sophomore Jarred Elizondo 3rd in the 3200M Run with a time of 10:18.64; Alex Willoughby 3rd in the 100M Dash (11.15); Jonathan Stoufflet 2nd in Long Jump (19'5"); junior Wes Joseph 3rd in the 800M Run (2:08.68); Stoufflet, Ventura, junior Joe Rodriguez, Willoughby 4th in the 4x100M Relay (44.60).
Bulldogs placing in the top six places were Jarred Elizondo 5th in the 1600M Run; junior Kyle Bauml, junior Ty Neff, Nelson, junior Calvin Bankston 6th in the 4X400M Relay; senior Stephen Young 6th in Discus; Neff 5th in High Jump; Landon Ventura 6th in Long Jump.
LadyBulldog sophomore Mercy Yermo is the District Champion in the 3200M run with a time of 12:15.51, quailfying for the Area meet. Yermo also qualified for Area in the 800M Run, placing 4th with a time of 2:28.78.
Yermo will be joined in the 3200M Run by junior Karla Presa who placed 3rd with a time of 12:18.72, and freshman Jewel Weed who placed 4th with a time of 12:20.88. Weed also qualifed in the 1600M Run, placing 3rd with a time of 5:37.59. Junior Sarah Butler will join Yermo in the 800M Run. Butler placed 3rd with a time of 2:28.70.
Also qualifying for the Area meet are freshman Kaitlyn Rodriguez, senior Sarah Walker, sophomore Jenessa Heinen, freshman Alex Bauml who placed 2nd in the 4X100M Relay with a time of 51.87; Walker also placed 4th in the 200M Dash with a time of 27.98.
Sophomore Allie Denham finished 4th in the Pole Vault, with a school record vault of 10' 3," qualifying for the Area meet.
LadyBulldogs placing in the top six places are junior Kate Martin placed 6th in the 800M Run; senior Josie Burns placed 5th in the 100M Hurdles and 5th in the 300M Hurdles; Sarah Walker placed 6th in the 100M Dash and 5th in Long Jump; senior Lenise McHazlett placed 6th in the 300M Hurdles; Karla Presa placed 5th in the 1600M Run; Alex Bauml placed 6th in Long Jump and 6th in Pole Vault; Logan Sine placed 6th in Pole Vault; Butler, McHazlett, Yermo and Bauml placed 5th in the 4x400M Relay.
Bandera competed on Monday at LaVernia and Wednesday at Canyon Lake at the Area Meet, with hopes to advance to the UIL Region IV Meet at Texas A&M in Kingsville on April 25-26. Results from the Area meet and Regional qualifiers will appear in next week's issue of the Courier.