After sweeping District 7-6A, the Coppell track and field team looked like a freight train, heading into the 7/8-6A area meet at Buddy Echols Field with a full head of steam. And just like a locomotive, the Cowboys (who finished fourth in total points) and Cowgirls received success from all around the board, as a total of 13 different Coppell athletes and relay teams will be heading to Arlington for the Class 6A Region I meet.
The Cowboys grabbed top finishes early in the field events, with senior Collin Echols winning discus with a throw of 177’3” and sophomore Gabriel Lemons, who triple jumped 43’8.75” to move on to regionals.
“I’m really proud of our boys,” Coppell coach Karl Pointer said. “We’re going against a very tough [District 8-6A] with DeSoto and Duncanville, and our kids really got out there and competed.”
In the field, the boys side picked up two more regional qualifiers in senior pole vaulters Trevor Larson and Zach Holmes.
“It’s really fine-tuning,” Pointer said. “It’s too late for any major training, you’re either in shape or you’re not. We have to fine-tune some things with our throwers and jumpers [for the regional meet].”
The Cowgirls also performed well from the beginning, receiving first and third place pole vault finishes from sophomore Rebecca Fuselier and junior Emily Pridgen, respectively. In addition, junior Claire Barden placed first in shot put, sophomore Selese Buatsi finished third in long jump, and sophomore Rachel Okere won triple jump and broke a school record with a jump of 38’4”.
As running events began, the Cowgirls just missed the region meet in the 4×100, placing fifth. Junior Alan Huo got the Cowboys off to a good start early in the track events, placing second in the 800 meter run.
Junior Zach Dicken, who was injured for over a month, came back in the previous meet and placed third in the 200 meter dash and second in the 400 meter run.
“Zach in the 400, we are trying to get him completely healthy,” Pointer said. “For a while there, he was injured right up until district. For him, the more races he gets, the better we’re going to be.”
In this meet, while he did not move on in the 200, Dicken placed fourth in the area in the 400 with a time of 49.13 seconds.
“I felt really good with my performances today,” Dicken said. “After I [set my personal record] in the 400, it really set the tone for me in the rest of the meet.”
In addition to the 400, Dicken was a part of the boys 4×400 team that placed fourth, also moving on to the Class 6A Region I meet.
Heading to the meet at University of Texas at Arlington on Friday, the fourth place finishing Cowboys and Cowgirls look to continue their success and make a state run.
“The most important thing that I can do for regionals is to stay healthy,” Dicken said. “I just need to control the things I can control.”