By ERIC VICCARO
The Saint Jo High School girls’ track and field team garnered the Area 21-22 championship with 142 points on Saturday at Yellowjacket Stadium in Boyd.
The Lady Panthers finished with 28 points more than Slidell, another noted regional track and field power. Forestburg’s girls placed sixth.
On the boys’ side, it came down to sheer numbers and Tioga earned the title with 142 points, 52 better than Forestburg.
Still, Forestburg had an outstanding day on the track, and Prairie Valley also excelled with a fifth-place finish and 62 points.
“I am really proud of the girls’ performances on Saturday,” Saint Jo head coach Chad Tallon said. “We felt like we had a chance to win the team title, and they worked hard for that.”
Tallon noted Marysol Avila’s performance in the 200-meter dash as an unexpected finish for the Lady Panthers.
The top-four performers from the area meet will advance to the Conference 1A Region III meet set for April 29-30 at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
Forestburg head coach Steve Sandusky gave his boys’ and girls’ squads plenty of plaudits.
“We are very pleased with all of our results,” Sandusky said. “We were pretty confident the boys had the capability to score some points, and that the girls could do well in their events, which they did. Forestburg athletes really earned everything they got.”
Forestburg’s Bear Osteen and Skyler Sandusky gave fans a thrilling duel in the 100-meter dash with Osteen winning in a time of 11.75, just five one-hundredths ahead of Sandusky.
Osteen also had the top area finish in the 200 (24.61, third) while Sandusky was golden in the 400 dash, clocking in at 56.59.
Like Prairie Valley’s boys, Saint Jo dominated the pole vault with Sarah Patrick taking gold with a mark of 9-6.
Caitlyn Holley (7-0) was second and Destiny Diaz fourth for the Lady Panthers. Bellevue’s Ally Corwin also qualified, marking at 6-6 for third.
Haley Nolan gave Forestburg points with a third-place finish in the triple jump, marking at 32-1¼.
Two-time state qualifier Cheyenne Banks, from Forestburg, earned gold in the discus at 106-9, with Gold-Burg’s Horton second. Banks also claimed a silver medal in the shot put (31-11¼). Read more in the April 20 Bowie News.
Forestburg’s Bear Osteen (left), Prairie Valley’s Alec Ducharme and Forestburg’s Skyler Sandusky race toward the line during Saturday’s running of the 100-meter dash at the Conference 1A-21-22 Area championship at Boyd. See more photos on Pages 5B-6B of today’s sports section. (News photo by Eric Viccaro)