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2017-05-04

Regional Champion heading to State with running mate

By Sandy Jennings BCC Staff Writer

Paty Cardenas photos
LadyBulldog running mates Alia Henderson and Sandy Clarkin both qualified for the State UIL Track Meet in Austin.



LadyBulldogs Sandy Clarkin and Alia Henderson qualified for the 2017 UIL State Track and Field Championships held at the University of Texas Mike Meyers Track Complex in Austin on the evening of Saturday, May 13, after finishing first and third respectively in the 800M Run at the UIL Region IV Track and Field Championships held at Javelina Stadium at Texas A&M Kingsville University this past weekend April 28-29.
Clarkin, who finished second in the 800M Run at 2016 UIL State Track and Field Championships, qualified in two events as a result of winning the 800M Run with a time of 2:19.65 and finishing second in the 1600M Run with a time of 5:29.36.
“Sandy's time in the 800M was the best that she as recorded this year, while the difference between first and second place in the 1600M was only .12,” Head Girls Track Coach Steve Golemon said.
Clarkin’s running mate and team mate form the State Champion Cross Country team, Henderson finished third in the 800M Run with a time of 2:20.57. Henderson, a junior, had the best third place time recorded in all four regions, advancing her to the State meet as the Class 4A at large entry in the 800M Run.
“Alia's time in the 800M was her personal best and only .07 out of second place,” Golemon said. “For Alia, this will be her first trip to the UIL State Track and Field Championships, since this is the first year for her to ever run track.”
Clarkin, a junior, also qualified for Regionals in the 3200M Run, but dropped that event to concentrate on the 800M and the 1600M Runs.
At State, Clarkin will battle Hannah Thompson form Celina and Jordan Brock from Gatesville for gold in the 800M. Thompson, a freshman, is tied for second with Clarkin at 2:19.65. Brock holds the top ranking time of 2:18.70. Henderson’s battle will be a little tougher rising from her nineth place seeding to earn one of the State meet’s coveted medals.
Clarkin finds herself in the same battle in the 1600M Run, seeded nineth at 5:29.36, compared to Lufkin Hudson’s first place seed at 5:07.85, but for those LadyBulldog fans who have witnessed Clarkin on the track, they know gold is possible.
Although neither of the Mooney sisters advanced to the State meet in the High Jump, both competed well and cleared the same height as the third and fourth place finishers. Both senior Peyton Mooney (fifth) and sophomore Presli Mooney (sixth) had more failed attempts than the high jumpers who finished in third and fourth in this event.
Sophomore Ashlyn Persyn placed seventh in the 3200M Run with a time of 12:18.20. Persyn had replaced Clarkin who had dropped that event to concentrate on the 800M and the 1600M Runs.
“Ashlyn just missed scoring points as she finished seventh,” Golemon said. “Except for a small tactical error, Ashlyn would have most likely finished fourth, fifth, or at least sixth in the 3200 meter. Like Ashlyn in the 3200M, Alia Henderson found the Region IV 400 meter to be a tough race in the prelims and failed to make the Finals.”
As a team, the LadyBulldogs had a total of 27 points finishing eighth of the 33 teams that scored points.
“Although we had finished third of five teams at the 2017 District 28-4A Track and Field Meet and sixth of ten teams at the 2017 District 27-4/District 28-4A Area Track and Field Meet, only two schools from District 27-4A and District 28-4A finished ahead of the LadyBulldogs at the Region IV Track and Field Meet,” Golemon said. “The schools were Wimberley, which won the regional meet and Fredericksburg, which finished tied for fifth at the regional meet.”
All are encouraged to travel to Austin and watch Clarkin and Henderson run at the 2017 UIL. State Track and Field Championships at the University of Texas Mike Meyers Track Complex in Austin on the evening of Saturday, May 13.
“Both the 800M and the 1600M Runs should be extremely exciting races; however, Class 4A girls 800M may prove to be one of the most hotly contested 800M ever seen at the U.I.L. State Track and Field Meet, since all, but one of the regional times recorded nine by the state meet entries were between 2:18 and change and 2:20 and change,” Golemon said. “It would appear most likely that the Will to Win could be a key factor in determining the final results in this race.”