ABILENE — The four Grace Community hurdlers are heading to state, together.
The Cougars quartet of Kade Clayton, Lin Gillham, Sydney Sumpter and Mikaila Massenburge all earned top-four finishes at the TAPPS 4A North Region track and field meet on Friday at McMurry University.
The results qualify them for the TAPPS 4A state meet May 10-11 in Waco.
Grace junior and defending state champion Kade Clayton won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles while teammate Lin Gillham tied for second in the 110. Gillham was awarded third in the three-way tie and still qualified for state, though he finished fifth in the 300, just outside the top four needed qualify.
In the girls 100 hurdles, Lady Cougars seniors Sumpter and Massenburge took first and third, respectively. Sumpter finished second and Massenburge fourth in the 300 hurdles.
“It’s just great effort,” Grace coach Mike Maddox said. “They went in with a goal to qualify all four of them and it’s great effort and celebrated by everybody that had a part in it.”
Bishop Gorman senior Matthew Roe won the shot put with a throw of 51 feet, 5ﾼ inches. He’ll be joined at state by teammates Sam Beck (pole vault, second) and sophomore Chance Findlay (800, third).
The Lady Crusaders qualified two relays. The 400 relay finished fourth while the 800 relay took second. Led by Texas Tech signee Maddie Raney, the Gorman relay team also include sophomores Monica Hand and Karis Stephen and freshman Olivia Dugan.
Additionally, senior Kimi Prevost, a Southwestern University signee, qualified for state with a third-place finish in the shot put.
“I’m extremely proud of our kids,” Gorman coach Rev. Jerome Milton said. “We’re a young team. They gave it everything they had. We were hoping for a little bit better results but I could not be prouder with what these young men and young ladies did.
“They left it all on the track. I’m just extremely proud.”
In addition to its hurdlers, Grace will send five athletes and two relay teams to state.
Lady Cougars senior Rilee Miller took third in the shot put, matched by fellow senior Josh Boylan’s third-place finish in the boys shot put. Emma Yeatts took silver in the triple jump and Kirby Edwards qualified with a fourth-place finish in pole vault. Monica Lim shaved seven seconds off her 1,600 time to qualify in fourth.
The Grace girls 400 relay team of Lexi Trimble, Miller, Madison Newman and Whitney Bane came in third to reach state. The boys 1,600 relay team, consisting of Blake White, Statler Lewis, Gillham and Clayton, grabbed a fourth-place finish in a close race.
“Our boys 4x400 did an outstanding job,” Maddox said. “It was just a really close battle, especially for the fourth and fifth spot there. It’s just a great battle. Our girls did a great job in the 4x100.”