By SCOTT TYLER

H-P Sports Editor



Palestine girls’ head track coach Jamie Driskell knows if his squad wants a chance to win the District 21-3A track meet this week he is going to have to get a strong performance from his distance runners.

“The three distance races are where we are depending on getting some big points,” Driskell said. “They have been real consistent this year and have been working hard to both reach their personal goals and help the team win the district championship.”

The District 21-3A track meet will be held Wednesday and Thursday at Diboll High School. The field events will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday, followed by the varsity preliminary runs and the junior varsity finals.

The varsity finals will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Palestine distance runners — the 800, 1600 and 3200-meter races — have been one of the more consistent groups for Palestine.

In the Dogwood Relays held at Palestine High School, the Ladycats got 54 of its 117 points from those three races and Driskell said it will have to be the same thing this week.

“We are going to have to finish high in those races and get everybody to place so we can get as many points as possible,” Driskell said.

One of Palestine’s top distance runners is Hannah Steffan, who returns this season after qualifying for the regionals in the 800 last year.



Steffan, a senior, will run in the 800 and the 1600. At the Dogwood Relays, she finished first in the 1600 and second in the 800.

“Hannah is a steady and strong runner,” Driskell said. “She works hard day in and day out and we expect her to do some big things for us at district.”

Joining Steffan in both the 800 and 1600 is April Shedd, who moved from Rusk this season. Shedd won the 800 at the Dogwood Relays and finished second in the 1600.

“April has a little more speed than the other girls and has worked real hard,” Driskell said. “She was third in district last year in the mile so she has the experience and her goal is to get to regionals.”

Kyla Pinkston also will run the 800 and Driskell hopes she can help push Steffan and Shedd.

“Kyla is the hardest working girl on the track team,” Driskell said.

Chelsea Scoggin will round out Palestine’s 1600 team and she also will run the 3200, which is her strongest event. She finished second in the 3200 at the Dogwood Relays and fifth in the 1600.

“Chelsea has put in a lot of hard work this past week to get ready for district,” Driskell said. “She is dead set on making it to the regional track meet.”

Rebekah Gold and Rosie Retana also will run the 3200.

“Both Rebekah and Rosie have come out from soccer and have worked hard and continue to improve their times,” Driskell said.

Driskell said Palestine’s biggest competition in the distance races will be Hudson and Westwood.

“Hudson’s strength is in their distance and Westwood has girls in each event,” Driskell said. “So that is who we are going to focus on.”

While the distance runners will play a big role in the district meet, Driskell also said it will be important for Palestine to fair well in the relays because more points are awarded to those three races.

“The relays will be very important for us,” Driskell said. “If we run well, we have a shot of getting out in all three relays.”

The anchor of the three relays is senior Jessica Faggett, who Driskell calls the team’s leader.

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

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