Go inside with Community Christian School’s first ever Texas track title

Published 12:20 am Saturday, April 27, 2024

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The Community Christian School track team competed in many public school meets this season.

In fact, the student athletes had a meet almost every week in preparation for the state meet in Houston on April 20.

The hard work paid off, as — for the first time in school history — Community Christian School won the Texas Christian Athletic League state championship for the 1A Boys and 1A Girls Division.

“We want to thank Little Cypress Mauriceville High School for allowing us to practice at their track,” the school said in a release to Orange Newsmedia. “We practiced there Monday-Thursday unless we had a track meet. We have had a wonderful partnership with them since 2006, when David Guidry first allowed us to practice there.”

Community Christian’s track program started in 2001 when Amanda Britnell was a senior at the school.

She has gone on to coach the school’s track team for 22 years, starting out competing in TAPPS, and this year is the school’s second in the Texas Christian Athletic League.

“The coaches we had this year really made all the difference,” she said. “Coach Vu Nguyen really brought our sprinters and jumpers to the next level. He worked with all the kids on the technical aspects of track. Coach and Athletic Director J.C. Copley was at many of the practices lending a helping hand and filling in the gaps. He is very passionate about the sport and his excitement spilled over into the kids.”

According to Britnell, the athletes really stepped up to the challenge when they were pushed to try new events this year. There were some stumbles along the way, but the team worked together to adjust.

“We have had some outstanding athletes throughout the years, but we have never had the numbers to compete well as a team,” she said. “We had 17 athletes on our team this year.”

As for the state meet last week, the squad had a high anticipation for success.

They watched the results in real time on Milesplit.

Distance runner Elizabeth Thomas was the first one to put points on the board when she won the 3200M.

Levi Hinton and Ben Britnell were the first boys to earn points with second and third place finishes in the 2-mile.

Community Christian stayed in the lead the entire meet, and the boys team won with 139 points, and the girls team won with 120 points.

“Our student athletes were extremely excited,” Britnell said. “One of our runners, Ben Samuel, kept saying, ‘We won it all!’ He even brought the plaque in to Starbucks, and the waitress gave them all a free coffee. We were featured on the news and the kids were giddy to be “celebrities” for a day. The athletes had a Q &A with the younger students when we got back to school. All of the elementary students were able to ask them questions and see their medals and the two plaques we won.”

The future of our program looks bright, according to Britnell.

There are a lot of athletes in different events to spread the talent around.

“This has probably been one of the most diverse years we have had as far as having at least one athlete in almost all the events — sprints, distance and field events,” Britnell said. “We have a lot of talented eighth graders coming up to high school. We are only losing one senior, Austin Robinson.”

Robinson placed in all his events: Shot Put-2nd, High Jump-3rd, 400M Dash-1st, 200M Dash-2nd and 100 M Dash-1st.

CCS Medalists:

Boys 3200M Run –  Levi Hinton-2nd, Ben Britnell-3rd

Girls 3200M Run – Elizabeth Thomas-1st

Girls 4x100m Relay – 2nd, Issabella Sonnier, Kiryn Bell, MaKinley Battise, Jordan Bass

Boys 4x100m Relay-1st – Ben Britnell, Aidan Vanderburg, Baylor Vanderburg, Garon Gomez

Girls 800m Run –  Kadynce Ice-2nd

Girls 100m Dash – Jordan Bass-2nd

Boys 100m Dash – Austin Robinson-1st (broke school record)

Girls 4x200m Relay-1st – Issabella Sonnier, Audrina Garza, MaKinley Battise, Elizabeth Thomas

Girls 400m Dash – Kadynce Ice-1st

Boys 400m Dash – Austin Robinson-1st, Garon Gomez-3rd

Girls 200m Dash – MaKinley Battise-2nd, Jordan Bass-3rd

Boys 200m Dash – Austin Robinson-2nd

Girls 1600m Run – Elizabeth Thomas-1st, Issabella Sonnier-3rd

Boys 1600m Run – Levi Hinton-3rd

Boys 4x400m Relay-1st – Jax Nelson, Baylor Vanderburg, Levi Hinton, Ben Samuel

Boys High Jump – Austin Robinson-3rd

Boys Long Jump – Aidan Vanderburg-2nd

Girls Shot Put – Kiryn Bell-1st

Boys Shot Put – Austin Robinson-2nd, Corbin Whitmire-3rd