Bulldog Relays start Nederland season with high hopes & injury concerns

Published 12:18 am Thursday, February 13, 2020

Farris Paddio is excited for the weather to finally let up enough for Nederland to kick off the track season with the Bulldog Relays this Friday.

“I’m just hoping that it’s a good showing,” the Nederland track and field coach said. “I’m hoping that the weather is going to work with us, and it looks like it’s going to clear up. I’m just hoping to see all the kids come out, compete, do the meet and finish the meet healthy. I especially want to see our girls and guys compete to the highest level and do the best they can. That’s all we can ask for. Each meet is a chance for them to come out and compete as hard as they can and do the best they can in whatever they do.”

The meet begins with field events in shot put, pole vault and long jump for boys and high jump, discus and triple jump for girls at 11 a.m.

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The boys and girls distance medley relay will be at noon, along with triple jump, discus and high jump events for the boys and long jump, shot put and pole vault events for the girls.

At 2 p.m. will be the girls and boys 3,200-meter run and running finals will begin at 3 p.m.

This year’s Nederland group on the boys side has a few returning runners that Paddio believes will be competitive, if they can overcome an early bout of injuries, that is.

“We’ve been hit with an injury bug at the beginning of the year, so I’m trying to be patient and let those guys heal up before I get them back on the track,” Paddio said. “It’s been frustrating, just trying to stay patient and let those guys heal up.”

Among these returners are Josh Mazyck and Logan Nguyen, who were part of the team that broke Nederland’s school record in the 4×100 relay last year with a time of 41.97, a record that had stood since 1963. Mazyck and Nguyen were joined by seniors Quin Stafford and Adam Roccaforte for the endeavor, both of whom graduated last year. The team’s time is also the fastest in the Golden Triangle.

Also returning, and also fighting injuries, is Steven Bourgeois, who served as an alternate on the 4×100 relay team and placed third in district in the 100-yard dash. Blake Mortera, who won district in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter races, also returns with great expectations on Paddio’s part.

“If we’re healthy on the boys side, I think that we will be pretty competitive,” Paddio said. “I do have some good quality people that’s coming back, long distance runners and short sprinters. I think we’ll have a real competitive year this year, just baring any major injuries. We just need some guys to step up at certain events, and we’ll se how it goes.”

The Bulldog Relays will be a great test for the Nederland runners, especially since 6A schools Beaumont United and West Brook are attending.

“I’m excited to see what United and West Brook are going to bring,” Paddio said. “It’s going to be good competition, something we can use to gauge ourselves, see where we are at the beginning of the season and see what we might need to work on.

“I’m just excited that the weather’s going to let up for the track meet and excited to see what’s going to come out on the track on Friday.”