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Very few points separate Lady Ponies from district titles

MARBLE FALLS — Outstanding performances highlighted the Marble Falls Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade girls track teams.

Girls athletic coordinator and coach Karen Naumann said track is about more than competition.

IN PHOTO: Marble Falls Middle School eighth-grader Haley Coulter finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the district meet. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

“Track is where character comes out and you see what they’re made of,” she said.

And what she discovered was a group of athletes who care more about their teammates than they do of their individual performances, she added.

The eighth-grade girls finished fifth with 99 points, while the seventh-graders placed fourth with 82 points.

The Dripping Springs eighth-graders won the district championship with 118 points, while Lampasas placed second with 117 points, Hill Country Middle School was next with 115 and Lake Travis finished fourth with 105 points.

Naumann said her eighth-graders performed as well as they could.

“Every one of those kids gave me everything they had,” she said. “We just didn’t have a mile relay. Because of the competition level, we weren’t falling in top of the line.”

Sarah Stripling remained a Lady Pony standout. She finished first in the 1,600-meter run in 5 minutes 54.02 seconds, second in the 400 meters in 1:05.64, second in the 300 hurdles in 51.73 seconds, fourth in the high jump by clearing 4 feet 4 inches, and fourth in the triple with a mark of 31-10 1/2.

“She’s been working really hard on arm swing,” Naumann said. “When she went to stand up, she spiked her arm on the way back up. She ran the 300 hurdles, 400 dash and mile dash all back-to-back.”

Teagan Hall won the discus and set a new personal best with a toss of 84-5 and the shot put with a heave of 34-3 1/2.

Skylar Riley finished fifth with a mark of 62-7 3/4, and Emily Klingsporn was seventh with a mark of 61-11.

Blanca Fonseca placed fifth in the shot put with a throw of 32-1 3/4.

“The best she’s ever thrown was 32 feet,” the coach said.

Tiffany Winters won pole vaulting by clearing 8-6, Amanda Thomas and Fonseca tied for second by clearing 7-6.

Julia Weber placed eighth in the long jump with a leap of 13-9 3/4.

Darby Hibbs was third in the 800 in 2:39.47.

“Just when you think she’s sixth, she fought up,” Naumann said. “That’s the best finish I’ve seen in a long time.”

Karina Palacio finished sixth in the 2,400 meters in 10:41.62 and Gabbie Monzon was eighth in 10:58.17.

Haley Coulter was fourth in the 100 hurdles in 18.27.

The 4×100 relay team of Hannah Dockery, Weber, Winters and Hibbs was seventh in 58.34.

The 4×200 relay team of Dockery, Madeline Nick, Rebecca Boudreaux and Chaese Jakle was fifth in 2:05.34.

The seventh-graders turned in some convincing performances, Naumann said.

Alysann Wilder and Kellie Engler went one and two in the discus. Wilder threw a mark of 78-7, while Engler followed with a 73-3.

“Wilder’s throw was the best a seventh-grader has thrown,” the coach said.

Wilder also won the shot put with a heave of 33-4, while Megan Morgan was third with a mark of 31-6 1/2.

“Morgan finally stepped up,” the coach said.

Rachel Ormsby finished third in the 400 in 1:07.60.

“She did a very good job in the finals,” Naumann said.

Tess Johnson was fourth in the 2,400 meters with a time of 9:58.18 and Lauren Ragland placed seventh in 10:13.44.

Johnson also was fourth in the 800 in 2:45.58 and Ragland was seventh in 2:47.81.

Naumann was pleased with the performance of Sarah Lewis, who finished first in the 300 hurdles in 52.35 seconds, fourth in the 2,400 meters in 10:06.37, and fifth in the 1,600 in 6:23.21.

“She did an excellent job in hurdles and distance races,” the coach said. “In the hurdles, she did an outstanding job.”

Shelbi Wyatt finished fifth in the pole vault by clearing 6-0.

Toni Mattern was fourth in the 100 in 14.00.

Madie Johnson was sixth in the 300 hurdles in 55.62.

Brittany Deering placed sixth in the 200 in 29.85.

The 4×100 relay team of Johnson, Deering, Erin Downey and Mattern finished fourth in 55.53.

The 4×200 relay team of Taylor Brackenridge, Deering, Brandi Kuhlmann and Mattern was fifth in 2:01.08.

The 4×400 relay team of Claudia Owens, Kuhlmann, Ormsby and Ragland placed seventh in 4:54.60.

Dripping Springs was crowned district champion with 141 points, while Hill Country was the runner-up with 117 points and West Ridge was third with 98.75 points.

Naumann was encouraged by how well her squad performed.

“I think you’ll see some good things coming from the seventh-graders,” she said. “It took awhile. I’ve seen it come around. It’s little things. You get those in place, you can see the success coming in other sports.”