By SCOTT TYLER

H-P Sports Editor



DIBOLL — Two years after only having six girls at the district track meet, the Palestine girls’ track team celebrated a district title.

The Palestine Ladycats won the District 21-3A title Thursday at Lumberjack Stadium as they finished with 168 points.

“This is unbelievable,” Palestine first-year track coach Jamie Driskell said. “The girls competed real hard and every girl had her best time of the year.”

Palestine also qualified seven different athletes and all three relay teams to the Class 3A-Region III track meet at Humble High School on April 28 and 29.

The top three finishers in each event qualify for regionals.

The Westwood Lady Panthers, who came into the second day in the lead after scoring 70 points Wednesday, finished second with 148 points but Westwood also qualified seven different athletes and three relay teams.

“I am thrilled beyond words,” Westwood head track coach Mike Holder said. “They did everything I wanted them to do and it has been a very good day.”

Westwood started the second day with a 38-point lead but Palestine started quickly to chip into the lead as the Ladycats’ 400-meter relay team took first place with a time of 48.3 seconds. Westwood finished second with a time of 50.77 seconds.

The Palestine distance runners gave the Ladycats a lift as they got 20 points in the 800 and 22 points in the 1600.

“Our distance girls got us back into it and that is what we needed,” Driskell said. “Those points were huge and all the credit for our distance runners has to go to coach (Carrie) Mullican.”

In the 800, Hannah Steffan took first place with a time of 2:29.48 and teammate April Shedd took second place with a time of 2:30.58.

The duo flip-flopped in the 1600 as Shedd won with a time of 5:40.09 and Steffan took second with a time of 5:44.69.



While the distance runners helped get Palestine back into the meet, it was the sprinters who vaulted the Ladycats into the lead.

“Our sprinters stepped up and left it all out there tonight,” Driskell said. “Each of our relays had the best splits of their season and we had several girls step up.”



Krystal Davis qualified for regionals with a third-place finish in the 100 with a time of 12.99.

Palestine then won the 800 relay with a time of 1:45.63 and the win helped put the Ladycats within 10 points of Westwood.



Westwood led by 14 points two events later, but Palestine made a push toward the top after freshman Tiesha Farris won the 200 with a time of 26.07 and Davis finished third with a time of 26.71.

Palestine took a two-point lead after the 200 and then increased it with the 22 points in the 1600.

Westwood’s Kaysie Ives qualified for two events as she won the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.97 and took third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 50.27.

Mary Dickerson qualified for her second event when she won the 400 with ease as she had a time of 57.83 seconds, winning by 2.7 seconds. Dickerson qualified for the long jump, which she won, on Wednesday.

Dickerson also helped lift Westwood to a win in the 1600 relay. Palestine had led through the first three legs, but Dickerson got the baton as the Westwood anchor and was able to catch Palestine’s Jessica Faggett after the final turn and sprinted past her as Westwood won the relay with a time of 4:08.56. Palestine finished second with a time of 4:10.86.

“All the kids I thought that would qualify were able to qualify,” Holder said. “I am extremely pleased with our mile relay because we have not run it all year and a good sign is I know we can run it better.”

Westwood had six other athletes, along with Dickerson, qualify for regionals on Wednesday. Melanie Salas won the 3200; Karisa Gainer won the high jump; Richelle Anthony won the discus; Porcha Crawford won the shot put and Magen Douglas was second in the pole vault.

Palestine had three girls qualify for regionals on Wednesday. Brittany Adams took second in the shot put; Tajan Snowden took third in the shot put and Chelsea Scoggin was third in the 3200.

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Scott Tyler may be contacted via e-mail at styler@palestineherald.com

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