WEST ORANGE —
The West Orange-Stark track team is “feeling the heat” and loving it.
After facing what has been a chilly track season, the weather has heated up of late and so have the Mustangs’ blistering times as they get prepared for the UIL State Track & Field Championships this Saturday at the University of Texas.
The warmer the weather has been, the faster the Mustangs have been running.“That kinda goes with the territory,” said Mustang track coach Mike Pierce. “The kids are much more comfortable. They’re used to competing in the heat with football and all. The best thing about it is watching those times get faster every week.”
The Mustangs will bring a strong party to state, including all three relays.
“It’s special to bring all three relays, that’s for sure,” said Pierce. “The kids have went out and earned it and have worked real hard to get here. It’s all going to come down to execution, getting those handoffs right and doing it in front of all those people in the stands.”
The West Orange-Stark 400-meter relay team of Maurice Morris, Chris James, Thomarcus Fontenot and Colin Janice rank No. 1 going in after their regional time of 41.67, which was also their best time of the year. Mexia ranks second at 41.68 and Celina third at 41.74.
The Mustang 800-meter relay squad consisting of Morris, James, Janice and Jarodd Ross rank No. 1 as well with their regional time of 1:26.49. Paris is No. 2 at 1:26.59 and Navasota third at 1:27.00.
WO-S 1,600-meter relay team of Ra’Shon McDonald, Janice, Deionte Thompson and Jerrious Tims is No. 5 at 3:20.56. Celina is No. 1 at 3:16.79.
Mustang Ra’Shon McDonald is ranked No. 9 in the 400 meters at 49.70. Kahlil Cooper of the Monahans is No. 1 at 47.53. WO-S’ Will Johnson ranks No. 9 in the 300-meter hurdles with a 40.23. Celina’s Ben Thiel is No. 1 at 37.51.
“Who knows what could happen,” said Pierce. “We’re going to get the kids up there Friday and get them accustomed to the surroundings. We’ll watch Ozen run in 4A on Friday so the kids can see what it’s all about. They’ve competed against Ozen all year and it will be fun rooting them on and feeling the whole experience.”
The Lady Mustang 800-meter relay consisting of Ly’Sha Cole, Shalin Hardin, Aaliyah Teel and Shavontae Thomas rank fourth with a 1:41.74. Kennedale is ranked No. 1 with a 1:40.38.
Bridge City’s Alexus Henry is tied for No. 4 in the high jump at 5-6. Kara Erickson of Paris North Lamar is No. 1 at 5-10.
In the Class 4A pole vault, Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Zoe Casteel is in a three-way tie for second with a 12-foot effort. Fort Worth Boswell’s Lakan Taylor is No. 1 with a 13-7.
In the Class 3A pole vault, Bridge City’s Kati Thornton is ranked No. 9 with a 10-9 regional effort. Wimberley’s Kally Long leads with a 12-8 mark.