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Monday, February 6, 2023

Mansfield Double Dips as Conference Champs

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Mansfield claims both the girls and boys District 3A Region 1 West Track Championships.

One estimate puts it twelve years ago that Mansfield’s boys and girls last won track conference championships on the same night. Now, after an inspired collection of runs, jumps, and throws the two teams got to celebrate together once again.

On Wednesday, April 18 Mansfield hosted the District 3A Region 1 West Junior High Track Championships. By the end, the deal was done. Both the Tigers and Lady Tigers clamped down and double dipped its way to the title trophies.

“It was really cool,” stated Mansfield head coach John Mackey. “The running score on the back of the press box leaked the results well before the announcement was made. Our players began buzzing about the infield like kids on Christmas morning just waiting for the official word. When it came across the PA, fantastic screams could be heard all the way to town.”

The Mansfield girls knew first. Although they never fell out of first place for the entire meet, it was still a tense moment near the end. The defending champions, Cedarville, kept hanging around making it close.

Strong finishes in the 300m hurdles, 800m run, and 200m dash put the thing away for Mansfield. A 14 point lead greeted the home town Lady Tigers after that trio of races. It meant that the final race and its final 10 points were moot. 

Mansfield punctuated the team victory anyway by winning the final 4x400m relay. Faith Rainwater, McKenzie Griffin, Shelby Cole, and Olivia Bouse wanted to go out on top with a complete sweep of all the relays.

The final 10 point push put Mansfield at 224 for the team title. Cedarville was left picking up the runner-up trophy with only 206 points. Elkins (85), Greenland (54), and Haas Hall (23) were left far behind the two team race.

The men were a little less aware of their fate. There was an extreme battle most of the night between the Pirates of Cedarville and the Tigers of Mansfield. Each took turns with the lead as results made their way through the scoring computer.

Similar to their female counterparts, Mansfield’s boys made bring strides in the 300m hurdles, 800m run, and 200m dash. 

Brandon Carver and Renden Emery went one-two in the 300m barrier race. Dru Buckner and Victor Steffen scored as well giving the Tigers four of the top eight places in that race. 

Ethan Chapman and Steven Perez went second and seventh in the 800m race.

Carver and Austin Carlton held there own in the 200m dash. Their places forced a seven point tie in the event with Cedarville. The meet was virtually over after that.

Mansfield went on to take second in the 4x400m relay behind Greenland. Branson Carver, Buckner, Emery, and Tyler Escalante manned the four lap cooperative to give the victors their final 194 point total.

Cedarville came within 25 points as their 169 final edged Elkins for second place overall. Elkins (137), Greenland (77), and Haas Hall (16) rounded out the boys’ team standings.

“I’m really excited for our track kids,” stated Mackey. “It was so much fun watching the boys and girls enjoy this team sport together. As my three year old grandson, Noah, would say; ‘It was a good day Da.’”

Mansfield had several All-District performances on the night. To be considered All-District a player had to finish either in first or second place in their particular event.

From the Mansfield girls’ squad those individuals included: Danielle Lillie, Skylynn Harris, Brooke Wright, Haylee Helms, Sadie Roberts, Hope Rainwater, Faith Rainwater, McKenzie Griffin, Olivia Bouse, Madelen Jones, and Hailey Walker.

Off the Mansfield boys’ team those individuals that earned All-District status by way of their performances included: Brandon Carver, Renden Emery, Bri Sanderson, Blake Wilkins, Tyler Escalante, Dru Buckner, Steven Perez, Ethan Chapman, and Branson Carver.

Outstanding performances included Lillie, Chapman, Brandon Carver, Emery, and Harris among others.  

Lillie won the 100m hurdles in 18.17 seconds. She was second in the long jump (14’ 3.75”), fourth in the discus (68’ 2”), third in the 100m dash (14.54), second in the 200m dash (29.92), and anchored the winning 4x100m relay (57.96).

Chapman anchored the winning 4x800m relay that won with a time of 10:20.12. He also won the boys’ 1600m run (5:42.37) and was second in the 800m run (2:30.20).

Carver took three individual victories. He was the best pole vaulter (10’ 6”), high jumper (5’ 4”), and 300m hurdler (46.87) at the meet. He was fifth in the 100m dash and fourth in the 200m dash. Carver also anchored the third place 4x100m relay which included his brother Branson, and teammates Carlton and Escalante.

Emery was in the red for the night. That is to say he collected five different red ribbons for five different second place finishes. That 42 point individual total came from the high jump, triple jump, 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and 4x400m relay.

Harris, just a seventh grader, won both the shot put and discus. Already the school record holder in the junior high shot, the first year track athlete won the event with a 35’ 2” toss. She sailed the 1kg discus 80’ 8” for the second of her two blue ribbons.

Others scoring for Mansfield included Natalie Allison, Serenity Brunson, Sarah Fisher, and Haylie Burns from the girls team. Others scoring for the Tiger boys were Zayne Dugan, Shaddon Moore, Trenton Leroy, Ashton Hinkle, Logan Cravey, and Brysin Cape. 

Mansfield assistant coaches sharing duties with Mackey include Dustin Payne (throws coach) and Josh Bryan (hurdles, horizontal jumps, and pole vault coach).

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