By Coach Luis Garcia, CCAISD
The top athletes from across Region I met at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, Texas to compete for the top 2 spots and advance to the State Track and Field Championships in Austin, TX on May 11 & 12, 2018. Van Horn entered the meet with Nathaniel Arrazate in the 3200m, Claris Navarrette in the shot put and Jadein Tarango in the shot put and discus throw.
On Friday, Nathaniel Arrazate started the Eagles in the 3200m. Nathaniel ran a strategical race running a personal record (11:13.91) finishing in 13th place. Last year’s state champion, Steven Quintanilla from Sundown, won the race in a time of 10:00.66. This was Nathaniel’s first regional appearance.
Thirty minutes after Nathaniel, it was Jadein Tarango’s turn to compete in the girls’ discus throw. Jadein entered the meet as the Area’s silver medalist. Her first throw went foul, but on her second throw, her discus sailed 114’-2’’. This throw advanced her to the finals placing her in the 5th position. In the finals, Jadein got a hold of a solid throw, and it soared 129’-11’’ getting past Abernathy’s Kalli Dubose throw of 121’. This throw put her in 3rd place behind 1st place Macy McNutt’s 141’-2’’ and Sirena Minjarez’s 2nd place throw of 135’-10’’. The 2 top places are guaranteed a trip to state, but Jadein qualified for the “wildcard” spot which is the best 3rd place. She had to beat all the 3rd places from the rest of the regional meets around the state. Jadein had to wait 8 hours until she was announced as a state qualifier, as well. Even though she finished 3rd in Region I, she has the 4th farthest throw going into state. Kristen Kuehler from Munday is in the 3rd spot at 130’-4’’. This is Jadein’s first state appearance.
On Saturday Jadein and teammate Claris Navarrette competed in the shot put. Claris threw 28’-6’’ but was unable to advance to the finals. This was Clari’s second appearance at regional. Jadein advanced to the finals throwing a good put of 36’-3’’. She finished the event in 5th place. All top 3 throwers from Region I got past the 40’ barrier and advanced to state with Bree Baker from Panhandle winning the event in a throw of 41’-0’’.
This marks the tenth year in a row that a Van Horn athlete has advanced to state in track and field. Jadein is the first Van Horn athlete to compete in the discus throw. Congratulations to Jadein Tarango and good luck at STATE!