Jeremiah Butchee is having fun in his first season as the head girls track coach for Stephenville High School, and that means the team is having success.
The SHS boys and girls competed Wednesday at the Class 4A area meet held at Porcupine Stadium in Springtown, and qualified 16 girls and seven boys to advance to the Region I-4A meet. The regional event will be April 27-28 in Lubbock at Plains Capital Park/Lowrey Field.
“I can tell you, it may be the most fun I've had at a track meet,” said Butchee, who took over the girls track duties this year from SHS Athletic Director Mike Copeland. “Our kids competed out of their minds and were able to score points, win medals and advance in events that the numbers said they didn't have a chance in.
“One of the greatest joys in coaching is to work along side an athlete that has given everything they have all year in preparation for a competition that doesn't last as long as a commercial break, and then watch the smile on their face as they reap the reward of their hard work.”
The top four in each event earned the right to advance to the regional level.
The SHS girls who earned the right to compete in the regional meet are Bailey McBee, Amber Walker, Kristen Pettit, Kali Bramlett, Hailey Martin, Chloe Goodman, Payton Wall, Presley Wall, Emily Kirbo, Alee McClendon, Jordan Carter, Taylor Carter, Karsen Salyards, Aubreyanna Ziegler and Shayden Toof.
The boys regional qualifiers are Blake Aragon, Caden Cowan, Cole Pettit, Krece Nowak, Pacen Parker, Travis Wayland and Zane Walker.
Bailey McBee earned the area title in the girls 100-meter hurdles, winning with a time of 15.24 seconds. Teammate Hailey Martin, who was third in that race, qualified for regionals in five events — long jump, triple jump, 400-meter relay, and 800-meter relay along with the hurdles.
Alyssa Northcutt won the district girls discus title with a throw of 109-1.
Jordan Carter earned her second straight trip to regionals in the high jump, taking second place behind defending state champion Ally Andress of Glen Rose.
Butchee said that the SHS girls 400 relay and 1,600 relay both posted their best times of the year. Also, Karsen Salyards had a personal-best mark in pole vault.
The SHS boys picked up two district championship.
Defending state high jump champion Blake Aragon won, as expected, with a height of 6-2.
And in the boys pole vault, Caden Cowan won the area title with a jump of 12 feet — six inches better than the runner-up, from Springtown.
"The boys did very well overall,” SHS boys track coach Kreg Kimple said. “I was very proud of the way we competed. We got some very unfortunate news the day before the area meet that Kyle Lindsey would not be able to run due to injury, and that affected all three relays.
“I was very proud of Cole Pettit, Krece Nowak, Pacen Parker and Travis Wayland for stepping up and PR'ing in two of the relays. Also, our field event kids like Zane Walker in discus, Caden Cowan in pole vault, of course Blake Aragon in high jump did a great job of getting to regionals. I am very proud of all the guys that made it to Area.”
Nowak scratched from the boys 100-meter run so he could fill in for Lindsey in the SHS 800-meter relay, which advanced with a fourth-place finish in a time of 1:48.94. The others running on that relay regional qualifier were Cole Pettit, Pacen Parker and Travis Wayland.
In the team standings at the area meet, the Honeybees were second with 126 points, behind Waxahachie Life with 135.
The SHS boys were fifth overall, with 58 points. Midlothian Heritage was first with 119.
3,200 — 6. Presley Wall 12:07.80.
400-meter relay — 4. SHS (Kristen Pettit, Amber Walker, Kali Bramlett, Hailey Martin) 51.29.
100 hurdles — 1. Bailey McBee 15.24; 3. Hailey Martin 15.51.
800 relay — 4. SHS (Chloe Goodman, Hailey Martin, Amber Walker, Kristen Pettit) 1:48.94.
100 — 7. Bailey McBee 12.94.
200 — 7. Chloe Goodman 27.12.
400 — 6. Kassidy Nowak 1:04.32.
300 hurdles — 2. Payton Wall 49.21.
1,600 run — 3. Presley Wall 5:37.86; 4. Emily Kirbo 5:39.48.
1,600 relay — 2. SHS (Amber Walker, Alee McClendon, Payton Wall, Kristen Pettit) 4:10.52.
Discus — 1. Alyssa Northcutt 109-1; 4. Taylor Carter 104-9.
High jump — 2. Jordan Carter 5-2.
Long jump — 4. Hailey Martin 16-11.
Pole vault — 2. Kali Bramlett 9-0; 4. Karsen Salyards 8-0.
Shot put — 2. Aubreyanna Ziegler 34-9 1/2.
Triple jump — 2. Hailey Martin 36-1 3/4; 4. Shayden Toof 36-1.
400-meter relay — 5. SHS (Krece Nowak, Pacen Parker, Cole Pettit, Travis Wayland) 43.95.
800 relay — 4. SHS (Krece Nowak, Cole Pettit, Pacen Parker, Travis Wayland) 1:32.35.
1,600 relay — 6. SHS (Krece Nowak, Pacen Parker, Cole Pettit, Travis Wayland) 3:28.63.
Discus — 4. Zane Walker 123-9.
Shot put — 5. Tyelir Brown 42-10 1/2.
Triple jump — 5. Gage Graham 43-9 1/4.
High jump — 1. Blake Aragon 6-2; 5. Kendall Storrs 6-0.
Long jump — 3. Krece Nowak 22-1 1/2.
Pole vault — 1. Caden Cowan 12-0.
Triple jump — 2. Krece Nowak 43-2 1/2.