Locals open District 22-5A meet with titles

Published 8:57 pm Monday, April 10, 2017

The News staff report

NEDERLAND — Five Mid-County athletes and one from Port Arthur Memorial won District 22-5A championships Monday in the first day of the league’s meet at Bulldog Stadium.

The Bulldogs dominated the 3,200-meter runs, thanks in large part to a top-three sweep in the boys run. Carlos Barbosa won in 10 minutes, 38.5 seconds, beating Blake Mortera by 3.8 seconds and Carlos Rodriguez by 12.24. Collin Dietrich of Port Neches-Groves took the fourth and final qualifying spot for the area meet.

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Rachel Morrison and Macie Saleme gave the Nederland girls first and second in the race. Morrison turned in a time of 13:04.78, with Saleme coming in at 13:30.69. Katia Davis of Central and Madison Ledet of Nederland were the next two area qualifiers.

Pole vaulters Morgan Luke and Alec Torres took advantage of their home field and won their events. Luke vaulted 7 feet, 6 inches, which was tied by PNG’s Anna Licatino, but won on fewest misses.

Torres was first at 14 feet even, followed by teammate Kevon Latulas at 13-6.

Xavier Hull of Memorial had a strong showing in both the long and triple jumps. He won the long jump at 23-8, beating his seed time by 2-4. Three Beaumont athletes finished second through fourth.

Hull was third in the triple at 44-5.5. Keynel McZeal of PNG was fourth at 42-10.

Jacie Droddy gave PNG a victory in the long jump. She went 17-9.5, beating Beaumont Central’s Malaysia St. Clair by 1-2.75. Gabrielle Gutierrez, who was runner-up to St. Clair in the triple jump at 35-3.75, came in fourth in the long jump.

Memorial had two qualifiers in the shot put with runner-up Riyah Collins (31-6.5) and third-place Kennedi Lofton (21-2.25). Collins is expected to sign a volleyball letter-of-intent to Jarvis Christian College on Wednesday as Lofton inks her basketball letter to LSU Shreveport in the same ceremony.

Cecilia Garcia of PNG came in second in the high jump (5 feet even). Deon Williams of Memorial was third in the boys event.

Memorial, Nederland and PNG were all strong in the running preliminaries Monday. Capri Wilson of Memorial turned in the fastest time (12.49 seconds) in the 100 meters, and Droddy (24.74) was the fastest in the 200. Gutierrez (15.89) has the top time in the 100-meter hurdles, with Millicent Neveu of Memorial (47.87) leading second-place St. Clair by more than a second in the 300 hurdles.

Memorial boys posted the fastest times in three events. Ireon Brown has an 11.01-second time in the 100 dash, 2016 6A state champion Kary Vincent Jr. leads the 200 dash field at 21.83 and Bryan Moore just edged teammate Ja’Vantae Hopkins (15.25 to 15.26) in the 110 hurdles.

Nederland has a sizable lead in girls standings with 61 points. Ozen is second with 39, followed by Central (32), PNG (28), Memorial (27), Lumberton (15), Livingston (6) and Vidor (2).

Central is first in boys standings with 61, followed by Nederland (51), Memorial (24), Livingston (23), PNG (18.5), Vidor (15), Lumberton (12.5) and Ozen (12).

The meet will resume Wednesday with the remaining running finals at 5 p.m.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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