POTTSBORO — The Cardinals’ mile relay may change every once in a while due to graduation but Pottsboro has sent a quartet in the race the last three times and five times in the past nine seasons.
The plan was for a return this spring and find a way to get on the podium after a fourth-place finish. The thought that might not happen, thanks to a key injury, almost became a reality. Instead seniors Ty Bates, Matthew Poe, Trevor Fryar and Jack Arnold were able to hold the fort, the Cardinals won the Region II title and enter the Class 3A meet this weekend with the fastest qualifying time.
Pottsboro is seeded first at 3:20.90 and has at least a half-second on the rest of the field — East Bernard is at 3:21.41. Van Alstyne is lurking as the fourth seed in 3:23.25.
Missing during the district and area meets and only running the region final was Myles Mitchusson, who was injured during the Texas Relays at the end of march and was sidelined up until last Friday. While he wasn’t able to try for another medal in the 100 after taking bronze as a junior, he is back in the mile relay with Fryar, Arnold and Poe once again.
That group was fourth a year ago in 3:22.93, less than a second from bronze. The region-winning time this spring would have had them in the mix for gold as they try to surpass the school record of 3:19.03 set in 2009 when that group of Cardinals won the silver medal.
Mitchusson and Arnold were also a part of the fourth-place 1,600 relay as sophomores.
Getting to the state track meet is a goal for any athlete able to work his or her way through the bi-district, area and region meets during the month of April.
There are more than a handful of Texoma athletes who would have been very disappointed if they not only didn’t make their way back to Mike A. Myers Stadium this week but also didn’t add a medal, or increase the color, around their neck.
In Class 4A, Melissa senior Maddie Kane returns for the third straight year and will try for a second consecutive medal in the 300 hurdles after a bronze in 44.95 seconds. It was an improvement over a sixth-place finish in 2015. She enters the race seeded third at 45.27 seconds.
Another Lady Cardinal, Priscilla Adejokun, is trying to earn a medal in the shot put after a fourth-place finish a year ago. She was at 39 feet, five and a quarter inches as a junior but enters this time with the top throw well beyond that — 44 feet, 11 and a quarter inches. Only Giddings’ Jasmine Kellar (44 feet, eight and three quarters inches) had a toss over 42 and a half feet.
Melissa senior Gunnar Murphy makes a second straight appearance in the shot put after placing seventh with a throw of 53 feet. He enters the meet seeded seventh at 51 feet, five and a half inches but is less than a foot from a shot at the podium.
Celina’s Andre Norman was fifth in the 100 meter dash last year as a junior in 10.89 seconds. He is seeded third in the event and will also compete in the 200, where he is seeded first in 21.31 seconds.
In Class 3A, Whitesboro senior Lauren Purdom is making her third appearance and will try for a second medal in the high jump following a bronze last spring at five feet, five inches. She was also fifth in the event as a freshman. Purdom is the top seed for the event at that height after winning the Region II title. Alexia Wherry of DeKalb is the only other competitor to clear five feet, five inches at a regional meet.
Pottsboro senior Olivia Zint returns in a pair of events. She was the bronze medalist in the 800 as a junior in 2:17.52 and was 0.23 seconds from silver and less than a second from gold. She is seeded sixth in the 800 at 2:18.64. Zint was fourth in the 1,600 last year at 5:16.60 and is seeded eighth at 5:27.88.
She is joined by teammate Madeline O’Hanlon, who has a chance to medal in the discus. The junior is seeded fourth at 133 feet, two inches.
In Class 2A, Honey Grove senior Jada Redd will try to reach the podium in the shot put after getting fifth as a junior at 37 feet, eight inches.