By MICHAEL S. ADAMS

H-P Sports Writer



The Westwood boys’ track and field team will head into Wednesday’s District 21-3A meet at Diboll on a winning streak.

The Panthers have taken home the team title from three consecutive meets, including the Wesley Taylor Relays at Elkhart High School on March 30.

“I feel really good about going into the district meet,” head coach Steven Skinner said. “We are running really well and luckily haven’t had any serious injuries.”

Unlike at the Westwood Relays and Dogwood Relays at Palestine, the Panthers ran away with the team crown at Elkhart defeating Lovelady by nearly 50 points.

Westwood will be one of the favorites going into the district meet, according to Skinner, who was skeptical about calling his team the overall favorite.

“In my eyes, Palestine is still the team to beat because they are defending champions,” he said. “Crockett has some pretty good athletes and Diboll have some good areas, but it should come down to us and Palestine.

“I think for us to be successful we cannot dig ourselves into a hole the first day. If we don’t do that, I feel pretty good about our chances.”

Westwood defeated Palestine at both the Westwood and Dogwood Relays and also topped Crockett in the Dogwood Relays.

Probably the strongest event going into the district meet for the Panthers is the 1,600-meter relay event.

Westwood has had two different teams win the event at both the Dogwood and Westwood Relays — securing enough points at each meet to win the team championship.

At the Westwood Relays, the team of Terris Nichols, John Welch, Cale Brooks and Allen Dudley defeated Palestine by 0.52 seconds. One week later, the team of Nichols, Dudley, Gralyn Crawford and D.J. Morrow

repeated the success and defeated the Wildcats by 32 seconds.

Last week, Westwood’s 1,600 relay team had its winning streak snapped by Groveton, who defeated Palestine by .088 seconds. Even with the success, Skinner is still pondering which team he will put together for the 1,600 relay this week at the district meet.

“It’s not decided yet,” Skinner said. “That decision may not be made until the day of the meet, depending on how everyone is running.”

The district meet also will have special meaning for brothers Cale and Cody Brooks, who will be running in the district meet together for the last time as teammates, as Cody Brooks will graduate at the end of the school year.

Cale Brooks has won three consecutive 300 hurdle events. The closest anyone has come to the junior is .055 seconds last week at Elkhart.

Cody Brooks takes specialization in the 110 hurdles and finished second at Elkhart with a time of 15.51, second at the Dogwood Relays with a time of 16.29 and was second at the Westwood relays with a time of 16.09.

“They both have had a good year,” Skinner said. “Cody has had some bad luck in a couple of races that cost him first place in a couple of meets, but I expect him to do really well in the district meet.

“Cale is a really strong runner and should also do really well.”

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Michael S. Adams may be contacted via e-mail at sports2@palestineherald.com

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