Yellowjacket teams sweep area track championships

Posted 4/22/21

When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece.

– John Ruskin (1819-1900), English philosopher

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Yellowjacket teams sweep area track championships


When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece. – John Ruskin (1819-1900), English philosopher

That is exactly what the Mineola boys and girls track teams created last week at the area track and field meet in Atlanta. Through a combination of love of the sport, skillful execution and sheer guts, both squads finished once again as team champions. 

The boys took the championship by one point over the hosting Atlanta Rabbits. The moment which propelled the Jackets to victory will live on in Mineola sports lore. 

It was an interference committed against the Mineola 4x200 meter relay team which set the stage for the dramatic finish. Mineola was awarded a chance to rerun the race. However, as only Mineola was hindered by the interference, only the Yellowjackets relay team would rerun. The empty-track race was then scheduled to be run 30 minutes after the completion of the 4x400 meter relay.

Mineola won the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:25.214. The relay team consisted of Brady Schrum, Jaxon Holland, TJ Moreland and Morgan Waggoner. Three of these athletes -- Schrum, Holland and Waggoner – readied themselves for the rerun of the 4x200 meter relay. They were joined by Jamarcus Kennedy.

A win in this event would be required for Mineola to take the team trophy. On an empty track, in a hostile environment, with tired legs, the team did just that, winning the relay by .052 seconds.  

It was a legendary feat.

Of course a team championship is just that, and there were plenty of accomplishments to recognize. Yellowjackets taking blue ribbons on the day, in addition to the two relay teams mentioned above, were Jaxon Holland (22.734 in the 200 meters), D.J. Newsome (43’ 10” in the shot put) and Jackson Anderson (134’ 2½” in the discus). 

The Jackets will be well-represented at the regional meet this week in Whitehouse. Also qualifying for regional competition were David Amador in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs, Dawson Pendergrass in the 110-meter hurdles and triple jump, TJ Moreland in the 200 meters, Trevion Sneed in the shot put, Jaxon Holland in the high jump and Adam Blalock in the pole vault. 

As boys track coach Heath Ragle summarized, “The guts and toughness they showed was a special moment for anyone that had the privilege to witness it. I am extremely proud of them and all the kids on the track team.”

The Quitman Bulldogs will also have representation at the regional meet. Ford Tannebaum took the 110-meter hurdles with a winning time of 16.122. He will be accompanied by teammate Brandon Jimenez who qualified with a 4th place finish in the 800-meter run. 

The Mineola girls team area championship performance may not have had the drama, but it had heart. 

As girls track coach Bill Self noted, “This is only the second time in school history that the girls have won the team district and area championships. Each of the young ladies embraced their role on the team and performed their personal best of the year at the district meet. At the area meet, every girl scored points in every event in which she was entered. It is only through this type of effort that team championships are won.”

The fact that no one on the girls team laced up their spikes that day and did not bring home team points is an incredible achievement at this level of competition.

First place finishers for the Jackets were Abeni Kratzmeyer (12.688 in the 100 meters and 12’ 6” in the pole vault), Kozbie Riley (1:03.394 in the 400 meters) and Hannah Zoch (13:07.187 in the 3,200 meters). 

Additional regional qualifiers were Juliana Stanley in the 800 meters, Keilee Riley in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, Kapri Riley in the 3,200 meters, Ava Johnson in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles, Tahjae Black in the long jump, Catherine McLemore in the discus and Shylah Kratzmeyer in the pole vault. 

The 4x100 relay team of Riley Weekly, Kozbie Riley, Abeni Kratzmeyer and Emily Wiley, and the 4x400 meter relay team of Kapri Riley, Keilee Riley, Kozbie Riley and Juliana Stanley both qualified for regional competition.

Quitman’s Brooklyn Marcee qualified for regional in four events. Her 16.445 in the 100-meter hurdles and 16’ 8¼” leap in the long jump secured two blue ribbons. She also qualified in the 300-meter hurdles and pole vault. Her 48.801 time in the 300-meter hurdles and her pole vault of 11’ also placed. Teammate Bonnie Vander Schaaf also earned a regional showing with an 18.165 finish in the 100-meter hurdles.   

The Region II 3A Track and Field Championships will be run at Wildcat Stadium in Whitehouse on Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24.