Llano throwers out-heave competition at district meet; Burnet athletes also advance

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Llano High School senior Ray Dixon competes in the discus event during the District 19-4A track-and-field meet April 11-12 at Burnet High School. He tossed the discus so far in his gold-medal throw that judges had to get a longer measuring tape. Dixon advanced to the area meet with a throw of 167 feet 7½ inches. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Llano High School senior Ray Dixon competes in the discus event during the District 19-4A track-and-field meet April 11-12 at Burnet High School. He tossed the discus so far in his gold-medal throw that judges had to get a longer measuring tape. Dixon advanced to the area meet with a throw of 167 feet 7½ inches. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

BURNET — Burnet and Llano high school distance runners, hurdlers, and throwers highlighted the District 19-4A track-and-field meet April 11-12 at Bulldog Field.

However, the Yellow Jacket throwers really stood out.

Llano won gold in all four discus divisions and three of the four shot put divisions. Senior Ray Dixon led the way by taking gold in the varsity discus and shot put events. 

His winning toss of 167 feet 7½ inches in the discus forced judges to find a longer measuring tape since they one they were using was only 165 feet long. 

Discus coach Ricky Sparks said everything fell into place for Dixon, who was having a blast at the throwing pits. Dixon also excelled in the shot put, taking first place with a heave of 52-02. 

“He got to throw into a hard wind,” the coach said. “Ray is a great thrower, and he’s also a technician. He’s powerful. All he needed was a 25 mile-per-hour headwind.”

For the past several weeks, Dixon has been unhappy with the results at meets, but coaches emphasized the senior had been practicing well — even throwing 180 feet in the discus— and maintained a good attitude leading up to every competition. All he needed, they said, was one good day. 

Llano High School freshman Anna Casey finished first in the girls varsity 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs at the District 19-4A track-and-field meet in Burnet on April 11-12. She took silver in the 400-meter dash. Casey will now compete in the area meet April 18 in Giddings. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Llano High School freshman Anna Casey finished first in the girls varsity 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs at the District 19-4A track-and-field meet in Burnet on April 11-12. She took silver in the 400-meter dash. Casey will now compete in the area meet April 18 in Giddings. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

District was the perfect time for him to bring it all together, Sparks said.

“Ray got his wind he’s been looking for,” he said. “The wind helps carry it good. You have to throw into it. You have to get the perfect line. It takes forever for the discus to turn over.”

“Turnover” refers to air moving around the discus in a manner that creates lift.

Once turnover occurred, the wind carried Dixon’s discus farther than it did for any other competitor. 

“I’m so proud of Ray,” the coach said. “Ray is great. There’s no one worse on Ray than Ray himself. He’s going to do whatever he has to do to get better. It’s an example of a kid who has a work ethic like he does.

Teammate Daniel Sparks, the coach’s son, earned silver with a throw of 144-07. 

The younger Sparks was sitting in fifth place with one throw left, and he made the most of it, his father said. 

“Daniel said he wanted to go to the area meet,” said Ricky Sparks, adding his son did what he had to do to get there with a second-place finish.

Other discus gold medalists for Llano included freshman Kinsey Hawthorne in the girls junior varsity discus with toss of 91-08 and freshman Garrett Dixon in the boys junior varsity with a mark of 119-01. Junior Courtney Reina was third in the varsity girls division with a mark of 101-2.5. 

Burnet High School senior Ian Carter competes in the triple jump during the District 19-4A track-and-field meet April 11-12 in Burnet. He finished second with a distance of 42 feet 6 inches. Carter earned gold in the 110-meter hurdles and bronze in the 300-meter hurdles. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Burnet High School senior Ian Carter competes in the triple jump during the District 19-4A track-and-field meet April 11-12 in Burnet. He finished second with a distance of 42 feet 6 inches. Carter earned gold in the 110-meter hurdles and bronze in the 300-meter hurdles. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Llano freshman Kara Minear was second with a mark of 85-04 in the girls junior varsity discus, and Burnet sophomore Leah Ng was third with a throw of 84-1.5

The Jackets also struck gold in the varsity girls shot put division thanks to Reina, who had a heave of 38-10. Teammate Hanna Snitkin, a freshman, was fifth with a mark of 31-6.

Burnet senior Seth Carpenter took silver in the varsity boys shot put with a mark of 49-02, and teammate Roger Craig, a junior, was seventh with a mark of 41-2.5. 

Llano junior Ethan Eastwood won the junior varsity boys shot put with a heave of 35-11. Ng was third in the girls junior varsity shot put with a mark of 27-4, and Minear was sixth with a heave of 25-10.5.

Few runners enjoyed the meet as much as Llano freshman Anna Casey.

Casey won the 800 meters in 2 minutes 28.82 and the 1,600 meters in 5:20.88 and was second in the 400 meters in 1:00.28 to set a new personal best.

She was dazzling in the 800, staying with a pack of four until the final 300 meters. Then, she found another gear and outran everyone to the finish line.

In the 400, Casey said she “got competitive and can’t help it.”

“So when (Liberty Hill’s Rachel Gallander) was ahead of me, I needed to step it up, I needed to kick it in,” she said.

Casey eclipsed Gallander near the finish line to earn the silver.

Burnet senior Ian Carter took gold in the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.5 seconds and bronze in the 300-meter high hurdles in 40.2 seconds.

The varsity athletes who finished in the top four of their events will compete at the area meet Wednesday, April 18, at Buffalo Stadium, 1600 N. Main St. in Giddings. Field events begin at 10 a.m., and the running finals start at 3:20 p.m. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com

RESULTS

Varsity girls (top six finishers only, top four advance to area): 3,200 – 1, Meagan Riley, Llano, 12:12.66, 2, Trynadee Greenwell, Burnet, 12:26.07, 3, Meredith Zyetz, Llano, 12:39.54; 800 – 1, Anna Casey, Llano, 2:28.82; 100 hurdles – 5, Claire Potter, Burnet, 17.97; 400 – 2, Anna Casey, Llano, 1:00.28; 200 – 4, Emily Perez, Llano, 27.46; 1,600 – 1, Anna Casey, Llano, 5:20.88, 3, Trynadee Greenwell, Burnet, 5:33.77, 4, Meagan Riley, Llano, 5:38.21, 6, Meredith Zyetz, Llano, 5:49.09; 4×100 relay – 6, Llano (Maya Cherry, Lilly Christopher, Etta Cuthbertson, Erin Lauricella), 53.47; 4×200 relay – 6, Llano (Cherry, Christopher, Allison White, Rylee Humphries), 1:56.26; 4×400 relay – 6, Burnet (Macy Hollowell, Gracyn Bennett, Dream Romero, Trynadee Greenwell), 4:22.33, 7, Llano (Erin Lauricella, Etta Cuthbertson, Emily Perez, Rylee Humphries), 4:26.01; triple jump – 5, Rylee Humphries, Llano, 32-5.5; pole vault – 3, Autumn Harris, Llano, 4-02; pole vault – Claire Potter, Burnet, 7-06; shot put – 1, Courtney Reina, Llano, 38-10, 5, Hanna Snitkin, Llano, 31-06; discus – 3, Courtney Reina, Llano, 101-02.5.

Varsity boy (top six finishers only, top four advance to area): 3,200 – 4, Andy Wright, Llano, 10:38.45; 800 – 4, Nic George, Llano, 2:02.92; 110 hurdles – 1, Ian Carter, 14.5; 400 – 3, Trey Grant, Burnet, 50.61; 300 hurdles – 3, Ian Carter, Burnet, 40.20; 1,600 – 6, Nic George, Llano, 4:52.87; 4×400 relay – 6, Burnet (Jaxon Denton, Gerardo Murrillo, Ian Carter, Trey Grant), 3:36.86; high jump – 1, Michael Lockhart, Llano, 6-0, 3, Jordan Godfrey, Burnet, 5-10; triple jump – 2, Ian Carter, Burnet, 42-06, 6, Blaine Burkhalter, Burnet, 41-0; shot put – 1, Ray Dixon, Llano, 52-02, 2, Seth Carpenter, Burnet, 49-02; discus – 1, Ray Dixon, Llano, 167-7.5, 2, Daniel Sparks, Llano, 144-07, 4, Roger Craig, Burnet, 132-7.5.

Junior varsity girls (top six finishers only): 3,200 – 1, Rose Flores, Burnet, 13:48.77, 2, Fatima Rodriguez, Burnet, 14:03.02; 800 – 2, Rose Flores, Burnet, 2:42.98, 4, Halee Muccigrossi, Burnet, 2:48.28, 5, Shelley Forrister, Llano, 2:48.1, 6, Fatima Rodriguez, Burnet, 2:49.50; 100 hurdles – 5, Avery Joy, Llano, 19.36; 400 – 5, Rylee Carroll, Burnet, 1:10.52; 300 hurdles – 4, Autumn Harris, Llano, 1:01.24; 200 – 3, Chloe Butcher, Burnet, 29.02; 1,600 – 1, Madison Zyetz, Llano, 6:11.44, 2, Fatima Rodriguez, Burnet, 6:19.41; 4×100 relay – 4, Llano (Minra Vellajo, Lisbeth Neri, Kara Spence, Grace Heyde), 56.57, 5, Burnet (Penelope Paz, Aubrey McCown, Brittaney Baird, Chloe Butcher), 57.66; 4×200 relay – 4, Burnet (Paz, Aubrey McCown, Rylee Carroll, Chloe Butcher), 1:59.75, 5, Llano (Avery Joy, Grace Heyde, Xochtil Green, Lisbeth Neri), 2:02.16;  4×400 relay – 3, Burnet (Rose Flores, Halee Muccigrossi, Brittaney Baird, Rylee Carroll), 4:40.05, 6, Llano (Laura Garcia, Xochitil Green, Shelley Forrister, Lisbeth Neri), 5:02.21; triple jump – 3, Halee Muccigrossi, Burnet, 30-8, 6, Cheyenne Sharp, Burnet, 27-10.5; discus – 1, Kinsey Hawthorne, Llano, 91-08, 2, Kara Minear, Llano, 85-04, 3, Leah Ng, Burnet, 84-1.5; shot put – 3, Leah Ng, Burnet, 27-04, 6, Kara Minear, Llano, 25-10.5; pole vault – 1, Kendal Connolly, Burnet, 6-06. 

Junior varsity boys (top six finishers only): 3,200 – 1, Luke Kiser, Burnet, 11:02.86, 3, Cade Rye, Burnet, 11:18.35; 800 – 2, Cade Rye, Burnet, 2:13.64, 5, Luke Kiser, 2:18.85; 6, Casey Davis, 2:21.88; 110 hurdles – 1, Aiden Cuthbertson, Llano, 16.94, 4, Jasper Debusk, Burnet, 18.12, 5, Raleigh Young, Burnet, 19.44; 400 – 3, CJ Greenwell, Burnet, 55.37; 300 hurdles – 2, Tristan Shirley, Burnet, 45.19, 3, Jasper Debusk, Burnet, 45.52; 1,600 – 1, Cade Rye, Burnet, 4:58.58, 2, Luke Kiser, Burnet, 5:01.28, 6, Casey Davis, Burnet, 5:25.09; 4×100 relay – 4, Burnet (Hunter McCoy, Braden McPherson, Bryan Silva, Cameron Guenter-Long), 45.48, 6, Llano (Donaven Arellano, Aiden Cuthbertson, Garrett Dixon, Justin Yocum), 47.65; 4×200 relay – 5, Burnet (Keaton Rodriguez, Tristan Shirley, Braden McPherson, Bryan Silva), 1:37.19; 4×400 relay – 3, Burnet (Braden McPherson, CJ Greenwell, Cameron Guenter-Long, Tristan Shirley), 3:45.53, 5, Llano (Ryan Warner, Garrett Dixon, Braxton Vickers, Aiden Cutherbertson), 3:53.74; high jump – 4, CJ Greenwell, Burnet, 5-4; shot put – 1, Ethan Eastwood, Llano, 38-02, 4, Luke Hicks, Llano, 36-09; discus – 1, Garrett Dixon, Llano, 119-01, 3, Sean Johnson, Burnet, 116-9.5, 4, Jose Villa, Llano, 113-2.5; long jump – 5, Keaton Rodriguez, Burnet, 18-09.25; triple jump – 1, Braden McPherson, Burnet, 39-07, 6, Jasper Debusk, Burnet, 36-08.25.

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