Palestine senior Miguel Varnado is headed for Austin.
The Wildcat distance runner took gold in both the 800 and 1,600 meters Saturday at the Class 3A, Region III meet at Humble’s Atacostia High School, qualifying him for a spot at the state meet.
Varndado won the 800 by more than a second over Huffman-Hargrave’s Justin Sharp, finishing the race in just over two minutes.
He captured the 1,600-meter crown by a bigger margin, winning the race by three seconds over Brookshire Royal’s B.J. Hillhouse.
Joining Varnado in Austin will be the Elkhart duo of Amanda Ham and Paige Fillmore.
Ham, a year after a disappointing finish at the regional meet, won the 800 meters at the Class 2A, Region III meet at Whitehouse High School.
Fillmore finished second in the 100-meter hurdles.
The area’s Class 1A schools are collectively sending seven athletes to the meet, led by Grapeland, who qualified five athletes for the meet, as of now.
Jayde Westbrook qualified in three events, running on the Sandiettes’ gold medal-winning 400-meter relay team with Terrika Campbell, Kala Smith and Paige Scott. Westbrook also finished second in both the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump.
Campbell won the 200 meters as well, and is awaiting her “wild card” status in the long jump, where she finished third.
The wild card grants a state berth to the highest-rated third-place finisher from the four regional meets.
Cymone Davis is also heading to state after finishing second in the shot put.
Also awaiting a possible wild card berth is Rosalind McCoy, who finished third in both the 100 and 200 meters.
Neches’ Roddricka Patton won the 100 meters a year after not even qualifying for regionals because of a false start. She’ll head to the state meet along with the Tigers’ Brandon Barrett, who finished second in both the 200 meters and long jump.
The state meet kicks off May 11 with the 1A through 4A 3,200 meters, the field events for 1A, 2A and 4A, and the running events for both 2A and 4A, when both Ham and Fillmore will compete.
Varnado will take to the track May 12, as will the runners from Neches and Grapeland
Varnado was the only area participant to qualify for the state meet in Humble. The top two finishers in each event qualify.
Palestine’s Alana Spurlock finished fourth in the girls’ 100 meters, while the Wildcats’ Paul Barksdale did the same in the boys’ race.
The Palestine 400-meter relay team of Barksdale, Jadarrius Beasley, Nico Barnard and Eric Adams finished sixth, while Palestine’s Nathan Perkins finished ninth in the pole vault.
Westwood’s Kym Davis finished eighth in the 200 meters, the only Westwood athlete with a top-10 finish.
Palestine senior Miguel Varnado is headed for Austin.
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From the Sideline: Picking on the picks from Texas Football
2013 is the year that Lance Angel’s Palestine Wildcats make the leap.
It’s a year that will see perennial playoff teams Cayuga, Frankston and Oakwood back in the playoffs.
It’s a year that won’t see Westwood or Elkhart snap their playoff droughts, or see Grapeland return to the postseason.
At least, that’s what 2013 will be according to the “Bible of Texas football.”
Palestine's Owens picks TCU
A whirlwind recruitment came to a resolution for Palestine star Jarrell Owens Tuesday.
H.S. Baseball: Elkhart's Smith stellar at all-star weekend
By all accounts, former Elkhart baseball standout Levi Smith had a stellar weekend.
The former Elks’ catcher spent it in Round Rock, participating in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association (THSBCA) all-star weekend.
He played in the 1A-3A all-star Saturday, batting in the clean-up spot for his team. But, it was the show he put on Friday that probably turned the most heads.
Tennis: Palestine-native Ybarra captures East Texas Open title
In terms of his tennis, the last year had been a rough one for Palestine-native Ryan Ybarra.
After transferring from Texas Tech to UT-Tyler, Ybarra had seen his season come to a rough end thanks to a foot injury, and led him to wonder about his future in the sport.
In his own words, Ybarra was “burnt out.”
H.S. Football: 5 local players to play in Saturday's FCA bowl
The annual FCA “Heart of a Champion” Bowl in Tyler Saturday will have a decidedly local flavor to it.
Five local players were among the almost 100 chosen to play in the game, which honors the best high school seniors from a 25-county area in Northeast Texas.
H.S. Football: Palestine OL Thlang commits to ULM
The first of the area’s Class of 2014 football recruits has made a commitment.
Palestine offensive lineman Brian Thlang committed to the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Wednesday, days after attending the Warhawks camp with teammate Ben Luckett.
Thlang said he was won over at the camp with the ULM coaching staff.
H.S. Football: Area coaches react to UIL's new 90-minute rule
In an effort to combat injuries, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) approved a limit on how much full contact can be made weekly during high school and middle school football practices.
The UIL, which governs athletics in Texas, approved a measure limiting contact to 90 minutes per week at a meeting on Tuesday. But, full contact is deemed to be “game-speed tackling and blocking to the ground.”
H.S. Football: TCU latest to offer Palestine's Jarrell Owens
Palestine star senior-to-be Jarrell Owens picked up his fourth college offer on Tuesday, his second from a BCS school.
TCU offered the Class of 2014 linebacker/defensive end, joining Texas Tech as the two Big 12 schools currently courting Owens.
H.S. Baseball: Trio of locals named to THSBCA all-state teams
Three local players were named some the state’s best baseball players Monday by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association (THSBCA).
Elkhart teammates Levi Smith (catcher) and Jacob Cheatham (third base) were both named first team players on the Class 2A team, while Cayuga pitcher Chantz Holland was named a first teamer in Class 1A.
Sports Briefs: Week of 6/3/13
Sports briefs for the week beginning June 3, 2013, including a Lady Elk garage sale and updated information on Adrian Peterson Day.
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- From the Sideline: Picking on the picks from Texas Football