Courtesy By: BY TERRY COOKSTON Herald-Banner Staff
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The Texas Titans and Club Vaultitude Track and Field Teams qualified 27 athletes in 37 events to the 2012 USATF Junior Olympics with their performances at the Region 12 Championships at Texas Tech University in Lubbock last week.
The 46th USATF Junior Olympic Championships will be held at Hughes Stadium on the Morgan State University campus in Baltimore, Maryland from July 23-July 29.
The Top-5 finishers in each event from 16 regional championships throughout the country earned berths to the prestigious track and field competition.
The Rockwall-based Texas Titans and Club Vaultitude racked up 37 berths for the nationals, with Club Vaultitude qualifying 12 athletes in 14 events and the Texas Titans 15 in 23 events.
The Rockwall Mustangs qualified 24 competitors plus four relays to the Region 12 meet, but passed up the trip to Lubbock to compete at the Texas Amateur Athletics Federation (TAAF) Region 7 Championships this week in Garland.
Leading the way for Club Vaultitude at Region 12 were Intermediate Class standouts Kaylee Hinton and Gaines Kinsey, who have been training all summer with head coach Toby Howell for Heptathlon and Decathlon competitions.
The hard work paid off, as Hinton won the Heptathlon championship and Kinsey captured the Decathlon title. Kinsey finished with 5,273 points and Hinton came in first in the 100 Hurdles, High Jump, 200 meters, Long Jump and 800 meters and second in the Shot Put and Javelin en route to 3,802 points and the title.
Hinton also came in second in the individual Long Jump (17-06 3/4) and fourth in the 400 Hurdles (1:10.56).
Club Vaultitude's Colten Laraway won the gold medal in the Young Men's Pole Vault (14-05 1/4), Noah Sewell finished second in the Youth Boys Pole Vault (9-00 1/4), Tiffany James came in third in the IG Pole Vault (10-08), Sarah Schneider finished third in the IG Heptathlon (1,780 points) and Jonny Lee finished third in the YM Pole Vault (13-11 1/4).
Posting a fourth place finish for Club Vaultitude was Garrett Dennard in the IB Pole Vault (11-05 3/4), Clark Norris finished fifth in the IB Pole Vault (10-11 3/4), Natalie Hawthorne finished fifth in the IG Pole Vault (9-08) and tying for fifth in the YG Pole Vault were Daria Ellis (7-02 1/2) and Lacey Helfferich (7-02 1/2).
The Texas Titans took 15 competitors to Lubbock and qualified 14 with two regional champions to the national championships.
"It was an amazing week for the Texas Titans," said head coach Debbie Hammond. "It was really great to be a part of it."
Steeven Martinez will be leading the Titans to Baltimore after winning the IB 2000 meter Steeplechase (7:04.99), finishing second in the IB 800 meters (2:04.06) and 1500 meters (4:36.38) and fourth in the 400 Hurdles (57.73) at Region 12.
TT's Madison Ramirez won the IG 2000 Steeplechase (8:31.23), came in second in the 1500 (5:20.92) and fourth in the 3200 (12:15.26); Sara Cuzick finished second in the YW Discus (102-01) and Javelin (78-02) and third in the YW 3000 Race Walk (21:18.52) and Shot Put (32-02); Allissa McClain came in fourth in the YW 800 (2:34.89) and fifth in the 1500 (5:44.16); and Cameron Defebaugh finished fourth in the YM Shot Put (41-08 1/2) and Discus (113-04).
Also claiming individual silver medals for the Titans were Sierrah Martinez in the IG 3000 Race Walk (19:53.51) and Christina Rowlands in the YW 2000 Steeplechase (9:17.71).
Lizzie Lehew came in third in the YW 2000 Steeplechase (9:53.75), Austin James finished third in the YM 2000 Steeplechase (7:22.73), Heather Semar finished fourth in the YG 3000 Race Walk (18:42.13), Sean Semar came in fifth in the MB 3000 meters (12:31.75) and Carlos Nuno finished fifth in the YM 3000 meters (10:47.20).
The Titans YM 4X800 Relay of Nuno, Jose Hernandez, James and Marco Morales finished fifth with its time of 9:01.17.