The quest for the UIL Track & Field State Meet begins now.
In the first step of their push for a potential state berth, the Sunray track and field teams made the short trek over to the District 1-2A Track Meet in Fritch, sending 18 individuals into the area round while landing in the top three in the final team standings.
Team-wise, the Ladycats and the Bobcats came away with third place finishes in their respective divisions.
The Ladycats took away 130 points, which came very close to holding a three-way tie for first place, behind Stratford and Vega’s 137 points respectively.
The Bobcats finished the meet with 132 points, three points behind second place Stratford. West Texas High won the meet with a total of 175 points.
Out of the Sunray representatives who took part in the district meet, 10 Bobcats and eight Ladycats will advance to the area round.
The District 1-2A and District 2-2A area meet will shift over from last year’s venue of Panther Stadium in Panhandle to the Palace of the Plains. The area championships will be held on Monday at Comanche Field in Stinnett.
Results from the area round will be reported in an upcoming edition of the Moore County News-Press.
The Ladycats were anchored by a series of strong performances in the relays, winning the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 51.46 seconds and topping their competition in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 4:14.43.
Sophomores Hope Castillo, junior Olivia Grasse, freshman Katelyn Hernandez and sophomore Faith Castillo comprised the sprint medley squad. Hernandez, Faith Castillo, senior Geraldine Trejo and Grasse made up the mile relay team.
The alternates for the sprint relay were Trejo and freshman Kali Flores, while the alternates for the mile medley were Flores and junior Sandra Arroyo.
Sunray also posted a solid showing in the 4x200-meter relay, finishing second with a time of 1:49.81. Grasse, Hope Castillo, Faith Castillo and Hernandez represented the Ladycats in the race. Trejo and senior Karla Amaya served as alternates.
Trejo also led the way in the 400-meter dash, winning the event with a time of 1:05.12. Joining Trejo in race was Flores, who came away with a time of 1:08.11. The only Ladycat to barely miss the cut was Arroyo, who finished sixth with a time of 1:09.30.
Hope Castillo also tabbed a second place finish in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 28.58 seconds. Hope also placed third in the high jump, clearing a height of four feet, eight inches.
Sophomore Yartiza Villarreal will represent Sunray in the 3200-meter run, placing fourth with a time of 14:19.06.
Faith Castillo took second in the long jump with a distance of 14 feet, 10.5 inches while Grasse recorded a fourth place spot with a distance of 14 feet, 10 inches. Both competitors will move into the area round.
Sophomore Rylee DeBord bested her competition in the discus throw, winning the event with a distance of 106 feet, two inches. Freshman Maggie McDowell placed sixth in the discus, with a throw of 86 feet, two inches.
Sophomore Aukazia Ortega moved on to the area round, recording a second place spot in the shot put with a distance of 30 feet, three inches. DeBord claimed third in the shot put, with a throw good for 29 feet, two inches.
Rounding out the Ladycats was Karla Amaya, who placed sixth in the pole vault. Karla vaulted seven feet in the event.
The relay teams were the main strength of the Bobcats, who claimed first in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:35.21 and took a second place in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:36.19.
Junior Rodrigo Gonzalez, senior Xavier Jiminez, junior Wyatt Henry and senior Bryan Mendoza comprised the mile relay team while senior Junior Balderrama swapped places with Jiminez in the 800-meter race.
The sprint relay team barely missed the cut, with a time of 46.88 seconds in the 4x100-meter event. Senior Carlos Amaya, Balderrama, senior Luis Cadena and Henry represented Sunray in the race.
Jiminez fared well in the 110-meter hurdles, winning the race with a time of 15.81 seconds. Junior Mason Overstreet was close behind Jiminez, taking second place with a time of 16.68 seconds.
Overstreet then placed third in the 300-meter hurdles, with a time of 43 seconds. Jiminez finished behind Overstreet, recording a fourth place spot with a time of 44.41 seconds.
Senior Miguel Castellanos led the way for the Bobcats in the long distance races, finishing second with a time of 5:04.08. Gonzalez took third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.06 seconds, while Balderrama settled for sixth place and a time of 24.90 seconds.
Senior Judge Shirley saw his season to come an end, tabbing fifth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 17.65. Patrick Pickens also witnessed his senior campaign conclude, placing fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.52 seconds.
Senior Brayson Smith ended his stellar high school career in the 3200-meter run, finishing in sixth place with a time of 12:50.36.
Junior Jaden Zerby paced the Bobcats in the field events, winning the discus throw with a distance of 138 feet, one inch. Senior Weston Lane also clinched an area round berth, slinging the disc for a distance of 127 feet, 11 inches.
Senior Cole Crownover also tabbed a spot in the area meet, attaining fourth place in the shot put. Crownover tossed the silver sphere for a distance of 42 feet, three inches.
Mendoza placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 38 feet, 2.75 inches while Amaya grabbed second in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet. Henry then took third place in the high jump, with a height of five feet, eight inches.
District 1-2A Track Meet
1. WT High 175
2. Stratford 135
3. Sunray 132
4. Boys Ranch 66
5. Sanford-Fritch 61
6. Gruver 31
7. Vega 15
1. Stratford 137
2. Vega 137
3. Sunray 130
4. Gruver 82
5. Sanford-Fritch 57
6. WT High 55
7. Boys Ranch 20