This time one year ago, Stephenville High School’s track and field season was over.
But thanks to their performances at the Region I-4A meet held last weekend in Lubbock, four SHS athletes will be competing at the Class 4A state meet in Austin.
Seniors Nadine Arredondo and Kylee Ponder along with juniors Blake Aragon and Jordan Carter advanced by placing second in their respective events. The top two in each regional meet qualify for the state meet at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin.
This year the state meet will be May 11-13.
Aragon made it in boys high jump while Jordan qualified in girls high jump. Arredondo will be competing in girls discus and Ponder is in the girls 100-meter dash.
Stephenville had no state qualifiers last year. The last state qualifier for Stephenville was John Clark Giddings, two years ago in boys pole vault.
“Any one of them is capable of medaling,” said SHS Athletic Director Mike Copeland, who coaches the girls track team. “To have four (qualifiers) is kind of special.”
Aragon, who stands 6-5, is also a varsity letterman in football and basketball. He earned honorable mention in football for the 2016 season, and was voted Newcomer of the Year in basketball by the District 8-4A coaches.
He cleared 6-6 at the regional meet, just behind winner Anthony Garza of Vernon with a 6-7. Aragon’s all-time best was 10-0, which he reached in the district meet.
Carter, whose father Joe Carter is on the SHS coaching staff and is her high jump instructor, was a first-team all-district point guard last season, her first on the varsity. This year marked her third straight appearance in the regional track meet. She was fourth in the regional high jump in 2016.
She had a height of 5-3 in the regional meet to finish second to Ally Andress of Glen Rose. Andress won with a 5-6. Jordan’s personal best is 5-6.
Ponder — whose father Pat Ponder is the head track and field coach at Tarleton State University — took second in the girls 100 at the regional meet with a time of 12.04, which was her best-ever mark. The winner of the girls 100 at regional, Alexis Brown of Kennedale, posted a time of 11.50. Last year as a junior, Ponder was unable to advance to regional after suffering a broken knee cap.
In addition to her discus practice, Arredondo also staying busy as a key player on the SHS softball team. The Honeybees competed in their area playoff series over the weekend against Brownwood, with Arredondo as their power-hitting third baseman.
Arredondo’s runner-up effort at regional produced a distance of 126-01. Carlie Roberts of Big Spring won with a 127-01. In February, Arredondo qualified for the state powerlifting meet.