With a dozen returning regional qualifiers, the 2019 track and field campaign could be shaping up to be a successful one for the Stephenville High School girls.

Jeremiah Butchee, in his second season as the head girls track coach at SHS, indicated that his excitement level is hard to put into words.

That’s because the Honeybees were the runner-up in both the district and area meets in 2018. And 16 of them qualified for the Region I-4A meet in Lubbock by placing among the top four in the area meet. Two of them — Bailey McBee in the 100-meter hurdles and Shayden Toof in the triple jump — advanced all the way to the state meet.

McBee took sixth place in the state meet while Toof was eighth. McBee’s time of 14.90 seconds was the second-best ever, as was Toof’s triple jump height, 36 feet, 2-1/4 inches.

Four of last year’s regional qualifiers were seniors who graduated in May.

“Although we lost a class of fierce competitors and perennial regional qualifiers to graduation, they will be replaced with an outstanding group of juniors and underclassmen including several freshman who will make an immediate impact. I expect great things from our 2019 Honeybee track athletes as we pursue district, area and regional championships.”

The other Honeybee runners who are back this year taking aim at another regional berth are Kalli-Blake Bramlett (pole vault, 400-meter relay); Chloe Goodman, 800-meter relay; Emily Kirbo, 1,600-meter run; Alee McClendon, 1,600-meter relay; Kassidy Nowak, 1,600-meter relay; Amber Walker, 400-meter relay, 800-meter relay and 1,600-meter relay; and Presley Wall, 1,600-meter run.

The other returners for the Honeybees qualified for regional in field events. They were Allysa Northcutt, discus; Karsen Salyards, pole vault; and Aubreyanna Ziegler, shot put.

Northcutt and McBee were area champions in their respective events last year.

The Stephenville varsity and junior varsity teams competed in Granbury’s Johnny Perkins Relays Thursday night.

The Honeybees and the Yellow Jackets won’t have a meet during spring break, so their next competition is set for Thursday, March 21, in the Glen Rose Tiger Relays.