Regional Track & Field Roundup

Seven Lakes girls win Region III-6A title

By Dennis Silva II, Sports Editor
Posted 4/26/21

As soon as his girls track and field athletes were done with their events on the second day of the Region III-6A track and field meet Saturday, April 24, at Turner Stadium, Seven Lakes coach David Pollack made sure his athletes were aware.

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Regional Track & Field Roundup

Seven Lakes girls win Region III-6A title

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As soon as his girls track and field athletes were done with their events on the second day of the Region III-6A track and field meet Saturday, April 24, at Turner Stadium, Seven Lakes coach David Pollack made sure his athletes were aware.

They were Region III-6A champions. Not only that, they made history in doing so. The Spartans girls are the first regional track and field champion, ever, boys or girls, at Seven Lakes.

“They had no idea,” Pollack said. “A couple years back, we had a really exceptional boys team and I think they assumed those guys had won region. They forgot how good Strake (Jesuit) was with Matthew Boling and that group. When I told them, you kind of saw jaws hit the floor, like, ‘Oh, my God, we thought this had been done.’ It’s always great to make history.”

The Spartans finished with 82 points, eluding Cinco Ranch (68) and Summer Creek (55). Seven Lakes had strong showings in the relays, winning the 4x100 (45.81 seconds, the second-fastest time in Class 6A this year) and 4x400 (3:44.43, a season-best time for the Spartans) and finishing third in the 4x200. Junior Haley Tate took silver in the 400-meter dash (53.82 seconds).

Senior Paige Boucher was third in the long jump with a personal record of 18-feet, 9-inches. Although only the top two in each event advance to the Class 6A state meet May 8 at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin, Boucher, who signed to play soccer and compete in track and field at Abilene Christian, qualified as an alternate to state since her mark is the top No. 3 qualifier among the four regions.

Coming into this season, Pollack knew he had a team that could compete for the regional title. In fact, he felt the pandemic robbed the Spartans of an opportunity to do so in 2020 when the high school season was canceled.

“I knew who we had,” Pollack said. “I knew we’d run some very fast times last year prior to COVID occurring, and I thought we could’ve made a good run last year. I have all those kids coming back, with one or two new additions this year to help us put together a real magical season.”

All the relay girls returned from last season. The 4x100 consists of senior Ibiso David-West, sophomore Alyssa Tate, senior Sydney Kim and Haley Tate. The 4x400 includes junior Avary Catchings, Alyssa Tate, David-West and Haley Tate.

David-West, a UTSA signee, and Kim, an Arizona State signee, are the leaders. They are four-year lettermen.

“They’re really the ones making my job easy,” Pollack said. “They get everyone organized and make sure we’re focused on the job at hand.”

The Tate twins are dynamic talents. Haley, in particular, has awed with her performances at the area and regional meets. She is the anchor of both relays.

“When you hit that junior year, there’s something that clicks with an athlete about them realizing they have the potential to go to college and they have to put the work in,” Pollack said. “She’s doing that.”

And though the Spartans are clearly talented, it’s the intangibles that are carrying them.

The first is the bond, something enhanced by the trials and tribulations dealt by COVID-19.

“Anytime people go through hardship together, it brings them closer,” Pollack said. “The team chemistry we have had this year is probably the best I’ve seen in 30 years of coaching. They had a phenomenal work ethic to begin with. That entire time we were in COVID and we couldn’t work with them, they were still working, and working together. Going through that and all the hardships of the past year brought the entire group together.”

The second is the coaching, and willingness to be coached.

The Spartans have always been fast and athletic, from the Tates to David-West and Kim to Boucher. But it’s their technical skill that has elevated their promise.

The several weeks leading up to the area and regional meets, Pollack had his girls focus on improving hand-offs from all over the track. At the regional and state meets, individuals and relays are randomly seeded, so they could be running out of lane one or lane eight. They don’t know. So, Pollack had his girls work hand-offs every corner of the track, with and against the wind.

That training proved critical at regionals last week, when the first day was windy and cold and the second day was warm with mild winds.

“We felt we had covered our bases and were in good position,” Pollack said. “We’ve gone the extra mile to make sure our kids were ready for any situation.”

Pollack was hoping his 4x200 relay would have qualified for state; the Spartans finished third, 13 tenths of a second behind second-place Fort Bend Bush. If that would have happened, Pollack feels Seven Lakes could make a true run at the state title.

For now, however, his goal is to go to Austin, get on the podium and medal in the events possible, and show to others that Seven Lakes is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

“We still have quite a number of kids coming back, and hopefully it sinks into them that they want to be there again, and in greater numbers, and a better run,” Pollack said.

NEWS & NOTES:

>> Cinco Ranch senior Sophie Atkinson was Katy ISD’s only individual who won multiple events at the Class 6A regional track and field meet. Atkinson won the 1600-meter (4:46.43) and 3200-meter (10:50.22) runs and finished second in the 800-meter run (2:10.92) to qualify for state in three events. Senior teammate Heidi Nielson finished second to Atkinson in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs. They return to state as Cougars for the final time in two weeks after racing together since they were 12 years old. “Now everything is your last,” Atkinson said. “It’s weird to think about that.”

>> Paetow is sending three athletes to the Class 5A state track and field meet on May 7. Junior Charles Chukwu won the discus with a throw of 165-04. Junior Sultan Bakare placed second in the shot put with a throw of 55-05.00. Senior Tumi Onaleye won gold in the triple jump with a mark of 39-08.25 and second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.17 seconds.

>> Jordan has its first state track and field qualifier in sophomore Tiyan Ogbeide. She placed second in the 800-meter run with a personal record of 2-minutes, 14.72-seconds.

REGION III TRACK & FIELD RESULTS

>> APRIL 23-24

>> TURNER STADIUM, HUMBLE

>> *Top 2 advance to state*

>> *Katy ISD regional champs in bold*

 

CLASS 6A

BOYS RESULTS

Team: 1. Atascocita, 79; 2. Summer Creek, 71.50; 3. George Ranch, 50; 4. Shadow Creek, 46; 5. Tompkins, 42.50.; 6. Strake Jesuit, 40; 7. Alief Taylor, 37; 8. Stratford, 32; 9. Cypress Ridge, 31; 10. Seven Lakes, 24.

3200M Run: 1. Emanuel Galdino, Stratford, 9:14.61; 2. Ruben Rojas Betanzos, Seven Lakes, 9:15.30.

4x100M Relay: 1. Alief Taylor (Mwamba, Callis, Cooper-Owens, King), 40.70; 2. Tompkins (Blake Harris, Mark Ngei, Marquis Shoulders, Joshua McMillan II), 40.71.

Long Jump: 1. Jaden Patterson, Atascocita, 24-08.00; 2. Jayden Keys, Tompkins, 24-01.50.

Shot Put: 1. Bryce Foster, Taylor, 66-10.50; 2. Kristopher Ryan-Ross, North Shore, 60-07.00.

Discus: 1. Kevin Grubbs, Summer Creek, 199-11; 2. Bryce Foster, Taylor, 197-09.

Pole Vault: 1. William Saxman, Cinco Ranch, 15-00.00; 2. Parker Samuelson, Stratford, 14-06.00.

GIRLS RESULTS

Team: 1. Seven Lakes, 82; Cinco Ranch, 68; 3. Summer Creek, 55; 4. Fort Bend Bush, 40; 5. Shadow Creek, 38; 6. Clear Falls, 37; 7. Pearland Dawson, 34; 8. George Ranch, 30; 9. Atascocita, 29; 10. Dickinson, 24.

100M Dash: 1. Camryn Dickson, Clear Brook, 11.41; 2. Jada Campos, Katy, 11.52.

200M Dash: 1. Camryn Dickson, Clear Brook, 23.29; 2. Jada Campos, Katy, 23.99.

400M Dash: 1. Kennedy Wade, Clear Falls, 52.77; 2. Haley Tate, Seven Lakes, 53.82.

800M Run: 1. Kennedy Wade, Clear Falls, 2:10.27; 2. Sophie Atkinson, Cinco Ranch. 2:10.92.

1600M Run: 1. Sophie Atkinson, Cinco Ranch, 4:46.43; 2. Heidi Nielson, Cinco Ranch, 4:47.07.

3200M Run: 1. Sophie Atkinson, Cinco Ranch, 10:50.22; 2. Heidi Nielson, Cinco Ranch, 10:51.50.

4x100M Relay: 1. Seven Lakes (Ibiso David-West, Alyssa Tate, Sydney Kim, Haley Tate), 45.81; 2. Shadow Creek (Peters, Styles, Bryant, Parks), 46.94.

4x400M Relay: 1. Seven Lakes (Avary Catchings, Alyssa Tate, Ibiso David-West, Haley Tate), 3:44.43; 2. Clear Falls (Tucker, Chamliss, Sisson, Wade), 3:44.89.

Shot Put: 1. Amelia Flynt, Cinco Ranch, 49-02.00; 2. Chrystal Herpin, Pearland Dawson, 46-10.00.

Discus: 1. Chrystal Herpin, Pearland Dawson, 168-05; 2. Amelia Flynt, Cinco Ranch, 161-10.

CLASS 5A

BOYS RESULTS

Team: 1. Manvel, 74; 2. Fort Bend Marshall, 63; 3. Brenham, 60; 4. Terry, 38; 5. Port Arthur Memorial, 36; 6. Crosby, 32.50; 7. Lake Creek, 28; 8. Paetow, 22; 9. Pflugerville Weiss, 20; 9. Austin LASA, 20.

Shot Put: 1. Tre’Vantae Caine, Port Arthur Memorial, 58-00.00; 2. Sultan Bakare, Paetow, 55-05.00.

Discus: 1. Charles Chukwu, Paetow, 165-04; 2. Chance Niesner, Lake Creek, 164-05.

GIRLS RESULTS

Team: 1. Manvel, 96; 2. Fort Bend Marshall, 89; 3. College Station, 62; 4. Hightower, 59; 5. Barbers Hill, 39; 6. Pflugerville Hendrickson, 31; 7. Paetow, 30; 8. Beaumont United, 26; 9. New Caney Porter, 22; 10. Pflugerville Weiss, 20.

800M Run: 1. Jaiden Itson, Hightower, 2:13.20; 2. Tiyan Ogbeide, Jordan, 2:14.72.

300M Hurdles: 1. Desirae Roberts, Fort Bend Marshall, 44.84; 2. Tumi Onaleye, Paetow, 45.17.

Triple Jump: 1. Tumi Onaleye, Paetow, 39-08.25; 2. Suzan Ogunleye, Pflugerville Hendrickson, 39-06.75.

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