Special to the E-T

As the saying goes, “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.”

That certainly wasn’t the case this past weekend at the regional track meet, as distance runner Allie Lewis not only ran with the big dogs, but she grabbed two bronze medals in the process.

Lewis, who will turn 11 years old later this year, chose to run in the 14 & Under division in order to be able to run the 3200 meter race.

The two-mile race is not offered in her age division, so she ran up in order to get in the race.

With only the top 5 finishers qualifying for the state track meet, there were concerns that she would not qualify if she chose to run with girls almost four years her senior.

She showed what she was made of by grabbing third in the 3200, with a time of 13:49.61, her best time of the season.

It wasn’t until the 1600-meter run that Allie displayed her true colors. In true Olympic fashion, Allie ran a time of 5:55.87. This was 8 seconds faster than her best time of the year. Moreover, she won the bronze by three-hundredths of a second. Holly Babbidge of Lewisville ran 5:55.90 to finish fourth.

Also bringing in a big load was sprinter, Sarah Fox. Sarah finished with three medals in the Long Jump, 100 meters, and 200 meters. Fox had her best jump of the year at 12’1” to take the silver medal.

Sarah has a few more inches left and expects to improve at the state meet. She also finished third in the 100 and 200 meters. Sarah ran a 15.11 in the 100 meters, but has run as fast as 14.96 this year. She did however run a season best 32.07 in the 200 meters to take home another bronze medal. Sarah qualified for the state meet in all three events.

Running in the 8 & Under division, Kayliana Castillo qualified for the state meet in the 800 meters. Kayliana ran 3:23.59 to finish fourth. This was her best race of the season. She also ran the 400 meters, but came up short in her bid to run that race at state. Brooke Nations is also a state qualifier in the 800 meters. Nations won the state crown last year in the 8 & Under Division with a time of 3:02. She bettered that time with a 2:56 effort in the 10 & Under division. That is also Brooke’s best time of the year and good enough for a bronze medal.

Also running in the 10 & Under division, Mikayla Hobbs ran a season best in the 100, 200, and 400 meters. Mikayla had a run of bad luck finishing 9th in each event, just one spot away from qualifying for the finals in each event. Mikayla wasn’t down for too long as she celebrated her 9th birthday at the meet. She will be back next year in the 10 & Under division. Erin Couch of Three Way had her best time of the year in the 400 and 800 meters. She ran the 400 meters in 1:26.27.

Cayla Pyburn and Carly Choate represented the 12 & Under division. Cayla ran the 100 and 200 meters and also long jumped. Cayla had her best long jump of the season at 11’5”. Carly Choate ran the 200 meters and the 400 meters. Carly would have earned the Purple Heart if it had been awarded. She battled sickness for two weeks and gave her best effort of the season to finish just one spot out of the finals of the 400 meters.

Competing in the High School division were Connor Washington, Seth Cantu, Kody Hook, and Kody Josserand. Washington and Cantu both competed in the discus throw. Connor had a season best117’9” throw in the 14 & Under division, which was good enough to bring home the gold medal. Connor has thrown farther in practice, and should improve on that mark in the state meet, giving him a very good chance to win a medal.

Cantu brought home the silver medal in the 16 & Under discus with a throw of 106’. He too qualified for the state meet. Kody Hook competed in the 14 & Under shot put throw with a season best throw of 29’4”. This was his first year with the team and looks to improve. Kody Josserand finished second with a season best throw of 39’5”. Kody has shown dramatic improvement since the spring jr. high season and, if he can throw in the 41-foot range, has realistic hopes of bringing home a medal at the state meet.

Also competing in the women’s pole vault were Sage and Senna Lasater. Both ladies qualified for the state meet. Sage vaulted 11’3” to finish first in her division; Senna also qualified for the state track meet.

All there athletes have made excellence a priority this summer, and have seen the success they deserve. Those who qualified for the state track meet will compete July 26 - 29, 2007, at Round Rock High School, just north of Austin.