Hornets, Bears fare well at EC Invitational track meet
East Central High School held its invitational track meet Feb. 19, and athletes from as many as 17 different schools were in attendance, including local students from both East Central and La Vernia.
In men’s competition, the team from East Central shone above all others, as it easily captured the tournament championship. Roosevelt and Madison made good showings to finish second and third, while La Vernia outperformed the teams from many larger schools to finish fourth.
On the women’s side, the athletes from La Vernia duplicated their counterparts’ efforts to finish fourth, while the host team from East Central finished sixth out of 16 teams.
In the men’s high jump, East Central took three of the top four positions, as Nick Coleman won gold, Austin Jupe earned a silver medal, and Allen Austin finished in a tie for fourth place with Zachary Gonzalez of La Vernia.
Kyle Padalecki of East Central blew away the competition in the pole vault, as he grabbed top honors with jumps of over 15 feet. Troy Pieniazek finished third for the Hornets in the event, and Jeremy Korsey made a good showing for La Vernia to finish fourth.
Coleman backed up his high-jump victory with another gold medal in the long jump, while teammate Suanders Cameron finished second for East Central. Preston Stewart finished third to earn some big points for La Vernia, and fellow Bear athlete Logan Mills finished in fifth place. David Clay finished 13th for East Central.
In the triple jump, Stewart of La Vernia took home a silver medal, Donald Price of East Central finished fourth, and teammates Ricky Guzman and Austin finished the event in eighth and 10th place, respectively.
Matt Nuerenberg finished sixth in the discus throw for La Vernia, and teammate Zack Preston finished eighth for the Bears.
On the track, La Vernia’s Michael Dowd showed his strength as a distance runner, finishing sixth in the 3,200-meter run. Adam Lee of East Central finished seventh.
La Vernia’s Steven Elizondo finished sixth in the 1,600-meter run. In the 800-meter run, East Central’s Kendall Spann finished third, followed by a pair of La Vernia runners, as Steven Elizondo and Colton Janysek went home in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Aaron Spann of East Central finished first in the 400-meter dash preliminaries. Teammate Matt Coleman made the finals with his fourth-place finish, and Daylon Doege represented La Vernia with his 14th-place finish. Spann then went on to win gold in the finals, while Coleman gained two positions to finish with a silver medal in second place.
A pair of runners from East Central and La Vernia both competed in the 200-meter dash preliminaries, but only George Wood of East Central made the finals, as he finished fifth. Jalen West finished 17th for the Hornets, and La Vernia’s Vince Gill and Jose Sahagon finished 29th and 35th, respectively. Wood competed in the finals, but slipped back to finish eighth.
A large field was on hand for the 100-meter dash preliminaries, and East Central’s George Wood made the final by finishing in a tie for sixth place. Teammates Edwin Dearring and Jalen West finished 17th and 19th, respectively, and La Vernia sprinters Michael Munoz and Vince Gill finished 29th and 33rd, respectively. Wood went on to finish fifth in the 100-meter finals.
Chris Armstrong and Austin Jupe of East Central finished 1-2 in the 300-meter hurdle preliminaries, and Zachary Gonzalez of La Vernia also made the finals with his fourth-place finish. Fellow Bear teammates Logan Mills and Nathan Dorsey finished 12th and 15th. The local favorites dominated in the finals, as Armstrong took gold, Jupe grabbed silver, and Gonzalez improved his standing to capture a bronze medal in third.
The Hornets’ Austin Jupe finished first in the 110-meter hurdle preliminaries, and La Vernia’s Logan Mills also made the finals with his seventh-place effort. Fellow Bear sprinters Zachary Gonzalez and Nathan Dorsey ran in the prelims, finishing 10th and 23rd, respectively. In the finals, Jupe backed up his previous showing with another first-place finish, and Mills improved to finish sixth overall.
In relay action, the teams from East Central and La Vernia finished first and second to capture gold and silver in the mile relay, or 4x400-meter event. The Hornet team of Aaron Spann, Matt Coleman, Darnell Crooms, and Chris Armstrong finished first, while the Bear team of Colton Janysek, Daylon Doege, Alex Dews, and Zachary Gonzalez finished second.
In the 4x200-meter race, East Central’s Allen Austin, Nick Coleman, Alex Autry, and Brandon Lowak finished fourth in the preliminaries to make the finals, and the Bear team of Jake Wiatrek, Alex Dews, Donald Davenport, and Brandon Felan missed the finals with their 10th-place finish. East Central finished fourth in the finals as well.
And in one of the fastest events of the day, the East Central 4x100-meter team of Brandon Lowak, Chris Armstrong, George Wood, and Alex Autry finished second in the prelims, while the La Vernia team of Jake Wiatrek, Alex Dews, Donald Davenport, and Aaron Grubb just missed the finals with their ninth-place finish. The Hornets went on to finish second in the finals as well.
The Hornets earned more than enough points to win the team title, and La Vernia finished fourth out of 15 teams.
In the women’s high jump, La Vernia’s Valarie Moehrig finished sixth, followed by Azaria Nave of East Central in seventh and Cat Reed of La Vernia in eighth. Valerie Petry of La Vernia won a silver medal in the pole vault, and Lindsey Hamer and Ashley Malone of East Central just missed the podium with their fourth- and fifth-place finishes. Lady Hornet teammate Lexi Ricks finished eighth.
Natalie Baker of La Vernia won a silver medal in the long jump, while teammate Haley Bruner finished sixth, and fellow Lady Bear athlete Sarah Haley finished in a tie for seventh place. East Central’s Natasha Moffett finished in a tie for 10th, and her teammates Bianca Nuckols and Angelica Kuykendall finished 20th and 21st, respectively.
Nuckols just missed a medal in the triple jump, as she finished tied for fourth. La Vernia’s Taylor Penshorn finished seventh in the event, and Katelyn Gonzales and Natasha Moffett of East Central finished eighth and ninth, respectively. La Vernia teammates Valarie Moehrig and Cat Reed finished 11th and 12th in the event.
In the discus throw, La Vernia’s Shayla Satterfield finished sixth, while teammate Kayla Yarbrough wound up seventh. Andrea Ogden of East Central was ninth, and Shayne Joy, also of East Central, finished 12th. Joy finished eighth overall in the shot put.
In track events, Bailee Vrana finished seventh in the 1,600-meter run for La Vernia, and teammate Jessica Perry finished eighth.
Xanthe Harston of La Vernia finished fifth in the 800-meter run, while Amber Hazlewood of East Central went home in sixth.
In the 400-meter dash preliminaries, Gessica Huber of La Vernia finished fourth, Rosie Ball of East Central was sixth, Kelsey Stanush of La Vernia was 13th, East Central’s Jasmine Brown finished 19th, Camry Ashton of La Vernia was 23rd, and Natashia Whitley of East Central finished in 24th. Ball finished sixth in the finals, and Huber did not run.
Haley Bruner of La Vernia was the only local athlete to make the finals of the 200-meter dash, as she finished seventh in the prelims. East Central’s Aurieanna Brown was ninth, Mollie Wildenstein of La Vernia was 14th, Katelyn Gonzales and Jasmine Brown of East Central finished 15th and 19th, respectively, and La Vernia’s Madison Townes finished 21st. Bruner went on to finish sixth in the finals.
East Central’s Aurieanna Brown finished eighth in the 100-meter dash prelims, while teammate Bianca Nuckols missed the finals with her 10th-place finish. Michelle Thompson, Mollie Wildenstein, and Sara Haley finished 12th, 14th, and 15th, respectively, while East Central’s Katherine Snider wound up 16th. Brown made a good showing in the finals, and finished fifth overall.
Natalie Baker of La Vernia topped the competition in the preliminaries of the 300-meter hurdles race, finishing first. Latisha Moffett and Courtnye Zimmerman of East Central finished fourth and fifth, respectively; Shayler Ring and Cat Reed of La Vernia were seventh and eighth, respectively; and East Central’s Bianca Nuckols finished 14th. Baker went on to win gold in the finals, Moffett finished fourth, Zimmerman was sixth, Ring was seventh, and Reed finished in eighth place.
La Vernia’s Natalie Baker also finished first in the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries to qualify for the finals, and East Central’s Latisha Moffett made the cut in fifth place. Cat Reed of La Vernia finished 12th, teammate Karaline Campbell finished 14th, and East Central’s Courtnye Zimmerman and Jazmine Bell finished 15th and 17th, respectively. Baker ended up finishing second to take home silver in the finals, and Moffett just missed the podium with her fourth-place finish.
In the mile relay, the La Vernia team of Amy Gastauer, Xanthe Harston, Taylor Penshorn, and Natalie Baker took top honors to win gold, and the team of Rosie Ball, Natasha Moffett, Raven Smith, and Latisha Moffett of East Central finished fifth.
La Vernia’s 4x200-meter team of Amy Gastauer, Taylor Penshorn, Haley Bruner, and Madison Townes finished third in the prelims, while Brooke Stephens, Rosie Ball, Lexi Ricks, and Raven Smith finished fifth for East Central. While the Lady Bears fell off two spots to finish fifth in the finals, the Lady Hornets improved slightly to finish fourth.
In the 4x100-meter relay preliminaries, the East Central team of Azaria Nave, Brooke Stephens, Bianca Nuckols, and Raven Smith finished third. La Vernia was close behind in fifth, thanks to the running efforts of Amy Gastauer, Taylor Penshorn, Haley Bruner, and Sarah Haley. Both teams gained positions in the finals, as the Lady Hornets took silver, and the Lady Bears finished fourth.