Special to the LSC Scoop from Don Garrett
I thought it would be the polite thing to do to preview the newest member of the LSC. It is tough to get a read on UIW’s track team, since their former conference home, the Heartland Conference, did not host a conference track meet. Therefore, I have tried to pull some results from other regular season track meets that might give us an idea of the talent they have assembled. Both of the UIW teams look decent - not top 3 teams, but probably not last place teams either.
WOMEN – the Cardinals have a few returnees capable of making noise at the conference track meet. By signing some good young sprinters, they appear to be in good shape to have competitive relays as well. The list of returnees is led by Marie Troufflard (14th LSC XC and the winner of the Oliver Jackson Invitational 5K last spring), but the word at the LSC XC meet was that Marie may head back to France after the fall semester, a big loss for UIW. Other returnees of note include: Lauren Pratt (a national qualifier in 2010 in the LJ – an immediate top-3 contender); Lilya Piskunova (a Russian kid who was 2nd in the Oliver Jackson Inv 400 hurdles); Bailey Lloyd, a RS distance runner who was 28th at the LSC XC meet this fall; Alyson Gonzales (2nd in the Oliver Jackson 5K); and Alma Santos, who finished 27th in the LSC XC meet.
UIW has picked up some good new kids as well, that include:
• Elodie Barre – a qualifier for the French national meet in the 200
• Kristy Gonzalez – Laredo Alexander – 4th 300H, 7th 100H at the 5A state meet
• Vanecia Spencer – Grandview – 3rd 2A 4X100 and 3rd in the Reg II-3A 100
• Shaneve Swift – San Antonio Clark – 8th 5A 400 at state
• Danielle delaPaz - Corpus Christi Calallen – 8th Reg IV-4A 800
• Taylor Welch – San Antonio FEAST (the home school association) – qualified for the Texas Relays in the 100H
MEN – the Cardinal men have a stronger core of returning runners and they were also very successful in rounding up some young weight men, which they did not have any in 2010. The “wild card” in track revolves around which football players may come out to compete in the spring. There might be some newcomers off the football team that change the complexion of the conference meet. The Cardinals have all four returnees from a 4X400 relay that was a provisional qualifier for the national meet that should be immediately competitive for top 3 at conference.
The returnees for UIW include: Sebastian Jaraba-Heffner (the Frenchman was a provisional qualifier in the 800, where his time in 2010 would have been top-3 at the LSC meet); Corey McDonnough, who won the Trinity Twilight 400 and anchored the provisional qualifying 4X400; Zachary Kurz (2nd in the Trinity Twilight 800 and a member of the 4X400 relay); Howard Gill, who was 28th at the LSC XC meet; Adrian Carrillo, who was 30th at the LSC XC meet; Curtis Davis (2nd in the Trinity Twilight TJ); Steven Young (2nd in the Texas State Triangular LJ); Juan Perez, who won the Texas State Triangular 1500; and the Alicea brothers, Christian and George, who made up half of that 4X400 relay.
A solid group of newcomers include:
• Chance Dziuk – Poth HS – the 2A state discus champ
• A.J. Ybarra – LaVernia – 4th in the 3A shot put, from a great little track and field town
• Christian Chacon – San Antonio FEAST (the home school association) – won the Northeast ISD Invitational 3200 against 4A and 5A competition
• Michael Elsik – Alief Elsik – won the Dist 18-5A discus
• Alex Hernandez – San Antonio Warren – 4th in the Dist 27-5A 1600
• Curtis Corley – San Antonio Incarnate Word – 5th in the TAPPS 4A discus in 2009
I think 2009-2010 is a year that the Lions would just as soon forget. The men were a disappointing 7th at the conference meet scoring 44 points and the women were dead last with 13 points. This low point of the season occurred with the women’s team did not have enough people to field either a sprint relay or a 4X400 relay, though the men did have a competitive 4X400 that finished 3rd. However, it appears to me that the new coaches (this is the 3rd year for both the men’s and women’s coaches) seem to be getting some traction in recruiting and both the men’s and women’s teams appear to be capable of drastic improvement, including the personnel to field very competitive relays at the conference meet.
WOMEN – Commerce got all 13 points from three women and all three return – Sunny Henderson (3rd in the JT), Kate Donovan (4th in the steeplechase) and Charnita Hollands (7th in the 100). The Lady Lions also return another kid who came close to scoring at conference in Makesha Brewer (11th in the 400). More importantly, they have 2 key people who did not score a point in 2010 – LaShara Jefferson, who was 11th at the 2010 national meet in the DT as well as 3rd in the SP at the 2009 conference meet, but who was apparently injured during the conference meet in 2010, and Desiree Spencer, who placed 8th in the TJ in 2009, but redshirted 2010. Particularly Jefferson is capable of matching the team’s 2010 total of 13 points all by herself in 2011.
The Lady Lions also had an excellent recruiting class, with transfers who will impact immediately and some young kids who should be the basis of a good team going forward for Commerce. These include:
• Breana Anderson-Burton – a transfer from McMurry, I saw her at her conference meet where she was dominant and she could be very good at the D-II level – 2nd at the D-III national meet in the LJ, plus placing in 5 individual meets at the American Southwest meet for McMurry – 1st in the LJ, 2nd in the 100, TJ and HJ and 8th in the 200.
• Starasia Childs – transfer from West LA JC – at the California JC championships she was 2nd in the TJ, 4th in the LJ and 8th in the 100H
• Katherine Beach – transfer from New Mexico State – 12th in the WAC 400
• Whitney Hargraves – Mt. Vernon/transfer from Southwester Christian College – an indoor and outdoor JC All-American for SWCC in the LJ and TJ
• Shunterrical Lamb – Dallas Kimball – 4th in the 4A 400 in 2009; 4th in the Reg II-4A 800 in 2010
• Gabrielle Curiel – Anna HS – 8th 3A 200 in 2009; 6th 3A 4X200 in 2010
• Carolyn Bell – a transfer from Vanderbilt – 23rd LSC XC meet this fall
• Ashley Peoples – Princeton – 4th in the Region II-3A 200 in 2009, just missing a trip to state
• Kristina Griffin – South Grand Prairie – 6th 5A 4X100 at state and 3rd Dist 7-5A 400
• Crystal Harris – Kennedale – at 3A state 3rd 4X200 and 4th 4X400
• Shirlia Lyons – Duncanville – won the Dist 7-5A Discus
• K’Nycha Johnson – Little Elm – 1st in the 100 and 400 at the Dist 5-4A meet
• Aysha Moultrie – transfer from West LA JC – 6th Hep and 10th HJ at the Calif JC championships
• Kylee Cockrell – Conroe Oak Ridge – 2nd DT and 7th SP at the Dist 14-5A meet
• Megan Lara – Conroe Oak Ridge – 4th Dist 14-5A 400 and PV
This adds up to lots more depth and a slew of new kids who can help this team out of the 2010 slump! Could see immediate results from some of the transfers and allow the younger signees a year or two to acclimate to collegiate competition.
MEN – they did lose 9 points from 2010 with the graduation of Tyler Tyndell, who was 4th in the 5K and 5th in the 10K – a very dependable distance runner for the Lions. However, that loss is immediately offset by the return of Cody Hughes, who was 5th in the LSC 5K in 2009 and then did not run for the Lions during any of the 2009-2010 school year. Hughes stayed in school at Commerce and came back out half way through the just finished XC season and his 8th place conference finish in XC sparked a big turnaround for the Lions. I suspect that turnaround will continue in the outdoor season as well. Other key returnees include Robert Reed (2nd in the 1500, plus 14th in the LSC XC meet) and Brandon Womack (2nd in the 800), as well as Cairo Thornton (5th in the 400), Demetrius Holmes (8th in the 110H and 7th in the 400H), Craig Shelton (7th in the 110H) and Albert Sinegal (8th in the 400) and this is a solid core of returnees. Throw in some other kids who have also almost scored in the past, like Ron Balthazar, 10th in the 800 in 2009; Akeem Jackson, 9th in the 400H and Joel Day, 10th in the 400.
The Lion recruiting class is as deep as their women’s recruiting class with a nice mixture of transfers and high schoolers who can mature into a good team for the next 3-4 years at Commerce, including:
• Terrance Hawkins – Commerce HS/Transfer from Southwestern Christian College – the former 3A state runnerup in the 400 who spent at least a year at SWCC (always hard to find results for any athlete who goes to SWCC)
• Trenton Overly from Lone Oak – the 2A state champ in the 800, after a runnerup finish in 2009
• Adrian Dabrio from Pottsboro – 5th in the 2A 400 in 2009
• Daniel Dia from Amarillo HS – 5th in the 5A DT
• Kogan Ewing from Bartlett – 2nd in the 1A 400
• Everett Wilder from Sulphur Bluff – 1A state in 2009 – 3rd 3200, 4th 1600 (redshirt in 2010)
• Jarrick Jack from Houston Westbury Christian – TAPPS 4A 1st DT, 2nd SP
• William Beasley from Rockwall – 2nd in the Dist 10-4A 100
• Ramodrick Waters from Waxahachie – transfer from Southwestern Christian in Terrell – was 3rd in the Reg II-4A 100 in 2009, missing state by 3 one-hundredths of a second
• Raman Singh – transfer from West LA JC – 4th in the Western States Conference 5K and 31st at the LSC XC meet in the spring
• Raymond Mata from Mansfield Legacy – 1st 1600 and 2nd 3200 in the tough Dist 8-4A meet, plus 34th at the LSC XC meet
• Dennis Wharton from Richardson Berkner – 1st LJ and TJ, plus 4th in the 200 Dist 9-5A
• Hank Smith from Burleson – won the Dist 3-5A 400 in 2010
• Colton Keener from Mt Vernon – 7th in the 3A 100 in 2009
• Wendell Simon from Richardson Berkner/Transfer from Langston – 5th Dist 9-5A 400 in 2009
• Tyler Hemenway from Anna HS – won the 800 and 1600 at the Dist 10-3A
• Bobby Strebeck from Danbury – won the Dist 29-2A HJ, then finished 8th at Region IV-2A
• Barrick Ellis from Dallas Bryan Adams – won the Dist 12-4A 100
• Lonnie Tipton from Lewisville – 2nd in the Dist 6-5A 400
• Austin Kvapil from Crandall – 1st 200, 2nd 100 at the Dist 12-3A meet
• Reginald McCarther from Cedar Hill Trinity Christian and a transfer from UNT – has not run since 2008, but I saw this kid run at the Sun Belt Conference meet three years ago and there is definitely some potential in him
• Alex Kimp from Keller Central – 4th in the very tough Dist 5-5A 3200 and 42nd LSC XC this fall
• Jaderrick McCullar from Terrell and a transfer from OK Panhandle State – a decent HS runner (a two-time regional qualifier in the 200) who might have something left in track as well
The way I look at it, if even one third of these kids are “hits”, then they have 6-7 kids who might score at conference and they are a drastically improved team from 2010. They have filled some of their glaring deficiencies in the throws and sprints. Definitely a team to watch in 2011.
The Javelinas were one of the up-and-coming teams in 2010 and I see nothing that indicates they won’t continue that upward trend. The men’s team moved up to a 4th place tie and they only lose 4-5 points from 2010, while adding lots and lots of new bodies. Kingsville has also be very liberal in redshirting freshmen the past 2 years, allowing some of their youngsters to mature and compete at the college level when they are more prepared. The Lady Javelinas also had an excellent season in 2010, finishing 4th as well, although they scored considerably fewer points than their male counterparts. The Lady Javs lost more points from their 2010 team than the men, but still look to be solid and they have also added some new kids who might help.
WOMEN – the Lady Javs lost some good ones, including Rhonida Carter (5th in the 110H and 7th in the 400H), Erica Alvarado (5th in the 5K, but 2nd in 2009), Tiffany Masters (a tie for 5th in the PV) and Diane Zarate (8th in the 400H). That represents 15 points lost. But, they have numerous returnees: Samantha Alvarez, who scored 15 big points with a 2nd in the PV, 5th in the HJ and 6th in the TJ; Amy Rabalais, 3rd in the PV and 4th in the javelin; Samone Lindsay, 4th in the LJ and 6th in the TJ; Katie Dugie, 3rd in the SP, 7th javelin and 8th HT; Elvia Lopez, tie for 5th in the PV; Diana Zarate, 8th in the 400H; plus, some others who were close to scoring – like Stephanie Arce (11th SP) and Christal Gonzales (10th HT and 11th Javelin).
The additions to the women’s team are solid, including:
• Kathy Trevino – Rio Grande City – 6th 5A 400 in 2009, then 5th in the Region IV-5A 100 in 2010
• Tezna Roy – Palacios – 5th 3A 800 in 2009, then 4th Region IV-3A 800 in 2010 and 38th in LSC XC meet this past fall
• Lesley Cluiss – Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway – Dist 31-4A 1st 100, 200, 4th TJ
• Santia Deck – Alpharetta, GA, Milton HS – 3rd 100, 4th 200 in the Georgia Region 6-5A meet
• Brianna Villareal – LaFeria – 4th Reg IV-3A 800, as well as 30th in the LSC XC meet
• Laura Melissa Lopez – Kingsville Presbyterian Pan Am HS – TAPPS 3A 5th TJ, 7th 300H in 2009
• Marissa Acosta – Alice – 2nd Dist 31-4A 800, plus a solid 31st in the LSC XC meet
• Melody Morosin – Beaumont West Brook – Dist 21-4A 3rd 300H, 6th 800
• Ashley Nunez – Kingsville King – 34th LSC XC after redshirt 2010 season
• Kate Korzeniewski – Lisle, IL/Transfer from Benedictine University
The Lady Javs have a solid core back from 2010 and should get some help from some of their new kids. However, several of the teams behind them appear to be vastly improved. Their goal should be to hold onto that 4th place standing with a very, very young team made up of mostly sophomores and freshmen.
MEN – the Javelina men have come back to conference competitiveness with a vengeance. The 2010 team was drastically improved over the 2009 team and they could easily move up another notch or two. This team lost very little although Ted Dugie was gritty competitor and a fine decathlete, he only scored 4 points at the conference meet last year by getting 4th in the PV (he did not compete in the dec at conference, but did at nationals). Kingsville also lost one member of their All-American sprint relay, Michael Price, who did not score an individual point at conference. That means of 106 points scored in 2010, the team loses only 4 points going to 2011!
There are many returnees who scored at conference led by Connell Davis, who won the LJ and was 5th in the 200; Tommy Singletary, the runnerup in the 100 and 3rd in the 200 – the top freshman sprinter in the LSC; and Sergio Rios, who won the 400H as a freshman and was the top freshman hurdler in the LSC in 2010. The list of other key returnees is long: Trent Hesseltine, who won the conference HJ; Isaiah Glover, 3rd in the LJ and 5th in the TJ; Micah Franks, 4th in the TJ and 6th in the LJ; C.J. Griggs, 3rd in the LSC TJ and All-American in the TJ at nationals; Kiya Dandena, only 8th in the 5K in 2010, but 5th at the LSC XC meet this fall and now one of the top distance runners in the LSC; Jonathan Woodson, 4th in the 200; Charles Wells, 6th in the 100; and Norman Thompson, 7th in the 400. Throw in some kids who were close to placing in 2010 – vaulter Dylan Riedesel (10th in the PV) and throwers Geronimo Lopez (11th in the DT and HT) and Paco Trevino (11th SP, 12th HT) – and you have a very deep list of returnees.
Now add to this group of returnees the largest number of newcomers in the conference. The Javs have 24-25 new kids on the men’s team BEFORE you count some footballers who will no doubt compete for them this spring. In looking at the newcomers for each LSC school, I have tried to list newcomers according to their likelihood to help the team in 2011. However, due to the vast number of newcomers and the relative equality of the previous performances of these athletes, here are the TAMU-K newcomers in alphabetic order:
• The one kid NOT in alpha order is a late addition who could define this group of newcomers – Jeron Robinson is competing unattached for the Javelinas right now and the Texas Relays HS high jump champ and the 5A runnerup is an instant contender for the LSC high jump crown AND for the D-II national crown – he has already jumped 7-3 in his first meet unattached!!! My guess he is not eligible this year, but in another year he could be a national contender.
• Jorge Alaniz – Rio Grande City – Dist 30-5A 2nd 3200, 4th 1600
• Brett Arredondo – Kingsville King – 1st Dist 31-4A 1600 in 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Devante Babin – Katy Mayde Creek – Reg III-5A 3rd LJ, 5th TJ – just missing state meet in both
• Matt Busker – Corpus Christi Incarnate Word – 3rd TAPPS 4A 800 – 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Russell Calais – Carrizo Springs – Reg IV-3A 5th 300H, 8th 110H
• J.D. Cuellar – Weslaco East – 2nd Dist 32-4A 400 – 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Stoney Davis – Bay City – 5th 4A SP in 2009; redshirt in 2010
• Trevor Engel – Transfer from Golden West CC – 7th California JC Decathlon
• Tyler Garibay – Laredo United – 4th Dist 29-5A 400 (3rd in 2009)
• Jesus Garza – Round Rock Stony Point/Transfer from Mt. Union – Ohio AC 4th SP, 7th HT – the advantage here is that Garza has already learned how to throw the hammer before coming to Kingsville, a big advantage over incoming HS athletes
• Randy Garza – Eagle Pass – 6th Reg IV-5A 400
• Aron Gonzales – Oxnard, CA, Pacifica – 3rd Pacific View League 400
• Brendon Grady – Euless Trinity – 5th Dist 5-5A 100
• J.C. Guzman – San Benito – Dist 32-5A 1st 400 (1st in the 100 and 200 in 2009)
• Malcolm Hoodye – Corpus Christi John Paul II – 2nd TAPPS 4A 800
• Colten Lauterbach – Rockport-Fulton – Dist 3-4A 1st 100, 3rd 200
• Erwin Oliva – Harlingen – 1st Dist 31-5A 400
• Nicholas Porche’ – Pearland – 1st Dist 22-5A 100, 200, 4X400; 3rd Reg III-5A 200
• Tim Price – Corpus Christi Carroll – 5A state 5th 200, 6th 100 in 2006 (not sure where he has been during the past 5 years)
• Ryan Richardson – Houston Clear Lake – 2nd Dist 24-5A 800
• Andrew Rivas – Kingsville King – 4th Dist 31-4A 3200
• DeAndre Robinson – Pearland – Dist 22-5A 2nd LJ, 3rd TJ
• Brandon Russell – Midlothian – Reg II-4A 4th 300H, 5th 110H
• Bryson Williams – Corpus Christi West Oso – 5th Reg IV-3A 200
Whew! I am tired just from typing all of those names - lots of new athletes to complement the returning kids. With sheer numbers like these, if only 25% of these kids pan out, you still have 6-7 athletes who score at conference. If you hit on 50% you suddenly have a conference top 2 contender. And, in another year, Jeron Robinson is hopefully able to compete and the Javs chance at a conference championship takes another big step forward.
WEST TEXAS A&M
The other up-and-coming team in 2010 in the LSC was WTAM. Part of the reason for that was it was only the 2nd LSC meet for their men and inaugural meet for their women and both teams had terrific meets – the men finishing in a tie for 4th (with TAMU-K) and the women jumping all the way to 3rd place in their LSC debut. Both squads were very young, as befits a new program. It looks like WT has added some good young talent, although not in the sheer numbers as TAMU-K, but both teams should be very strong in 2011.
WOMEN – the Lady Buffs only lost 7 out of 88 points from 2010 – Erika Carranza, who was 6th in the 800 and Mariana Chavira, who was 4th in the 10K and 9th in the 5K. Their key returnees are many: Aries Bazaldua, who won the 10K and was 7th in the 5K as a freshman; Tara Tarrant – 2nd in the 400 and 5th in the 200; Morgan Shelton, 3rd in the 400H, 7th in the LJ and 8th in both the 400 and javelin; Kirsten McCowan, 4th in the 100H and 7th in the HJ; Katie Jones, 4th in the heptathlon, 8th in the LJ and 9th in the javelin; Jessica Blakely, 5th in the steeplechase; Bailee Skeen, 6th 100H, 8th 100, and 9th TJ; Jadiah Riley, a rare upperclassman who was 6th in the shot put, 7th in the hammer and 9th in the discus; Sadie Newsome, 6th in the 400H; Allie Reyna, 8th in the 800 & 1500; and Rachel King, 8th in the 100H. There were several others who were very close to scoring, like Brieana Garcia (9th in the 800), Nicole Hudgens (10th in the steeplechase), and Caroline Sharp (9th in the steeple).
Add to this strong corps of returnees some outstanding recruits, including some state meet competitors:
• Casey Nelson – Amarillo Tascosa – 5th in the 5A discus
• Shelby Jameson – Sanford-Fritch – 4th in the 2A SP (2nd in that event in 2009)
• Amber Moore – Longview Spring Hill – 8th in the 3A 3200
• Madelyn Newsome – Amarillo HS – 4th Region I-5A 400
• Taylor Johnson – South Grand Prairie – 1st Dist 7-5A 800
• Madeline Williams – Canyon Randall – Reg I-4A 3rd 200, just missing a trip to state
• Jordan Coonts – Amarillo HS – 2nd Dist 2-5A TJ
• Marisa Holiwell – Richardson Berkner – Dist 9-5A 3rd 300H, 5th 100H
• Olivia Martinez – Canyon HS – Dist 3-4A 3rd 800, 6th 1600
• Brenda Jemutai – Kenya – could not find any results, but any Kenyan distance runner has to be considered a key addition
The Lady Buffs look stronger than in 2010, with a team made up largely of freshmen and sophs, which bodes well for WT for the next 2-3 years. Looks like WT might be able to retain that 3rd place hold and even threaten the top 2 – Angelo and ACU.
MEN – just like the women’s team, the Buffs are very young and have progressed rapidly to become a conference-competitive squad. They only lost 2 athletes to graduation, but one in particular will be very costly points-wise. Eldon Grimslid was a former footballer at WT who emerged as a top decathlete. He was the first Buff to score a point in the LSC track meet in 2009 and in 2010 he scored 18 points (1st in the Decathlon and 2nd in the javelin)! WT also lost Jarret Kachel, who was 7th in the 800.
That totals 20 points lost out of their 106 scored in 2010, but they still bring back large number of key returnees, like Luke Irwin, the Canadian who won the steeple and was 5th in both the 1500 and 5K; Serville Dandridge, the freshman who won the discus; Gage Mayer, the 2009 HJ champ to become the first Buff to win a LSC event - Gage finished 2nd in the HJ in 2010; Ross Myatt, 4th in the 110H and 5th in the 400H; Aaron Gordon, 4th in the HJ; Rolando Vasquez, 5th in the 800; Taylor Gardner, 6th in the400 and 8th in the 800; Tramicah Young, 7th in the LJ and 8th in the TJ; Dane Hamrick, 6th in the SP; Thomas Harris, 6th in the steeple; Xavier Bennett, 7th in the 200 and 8th in the LJ; Tanner Dennis, 7th in the PV; Brittan Golden, 7th in the TJ and 9th LJ; Taylor Johnson, 6th in the javelin and 9th in the 400. Others who were close to scoring in 2010 were Jonathan Lindsey (10th in the DT), Ray Sparkman (12th in the 800), and Daniel Zewde (11th in the 400H).
A solid group of recruits includes the top HS recruit out of state of New Mexico, Taylor Weary from Alamogordo, who won the NM 5A 200 and 400 and was 5th in the 100. Others include:
• Torian Oakley – Conroe Oak Ridge – 4th in the 5A 100
• Sam Omomogho – Amarillo HS – 6th 5A 200 in 2009; redshirted in 2010
• Dustin Dickson – Whitesboro – 4th 3A HJ
• Slade Cupps – Jim Ned – 5th 2A PV
• Westin Williams – Wellington – 3rd 1A PV
• Justin Reeves – Arlington Seguin – 6th 4A 110H in 2009
• Tyler Howard – Amarillo HS – 3rd Region I-5A 300H
• Gary Newell – Alamogordo, NM – NM 5A state 7th 300H and 4th sprint medley relay
• Tyler Hutches – Canyon Randall – 1st Dist 3-4A 400
That is a lot of kids who have state meet experience. WT looks like a team that will fight to be in the top 4 and possibly even the top 3 in 2011. The fight for top 4 will be even tougher than in 2010, with improved squads from both TAMU-K and WTAMU, plus the addition of Incarnate Word. I also see a lower division squad like TAMU-C stealing lots of points, so that the gap between first and last is narrowed and a difference of 5-10 points could mean finishing anywhere from 3rd to 6th.