Lipan youth has team thinking more to come


There were no gold medals brought home.

No silver or bronze.

But there is plenty of optimism that that those might be in the future for the Lipan track team after sending a school-record four competitors to last weekend’s Class A Division II State Track and Field Meet in Austin.

“They didn’t run safe. They ran for medals, even though they didn’t get them,” said Lipan coach Ray Michou.

“Any time you’ve stretched as far as you can go, that’s all you can ask. I was real pleased with their efforts.”

Junior Jorge Hernandez led the Lipan contingent by finishing sixth in the boys long jump. He posted a season-best leap of 20 feet, 7.75 inches.

“He’d been inconsistent all year, but then he had his great performance at regionals and state,” said Michou.

Three freshmen qualified for the Lady Indians, Shelby Bontke taking eighth in the 300 hurdles (55.53), Lanie Roberts finishing ninth in the 800 (2:38.38) and Catherine Thormann placing nin th in the 1600 (6:12.86).

“Those girls have been successful for a long time through junior high and now in high school. they expect to be successful,” said Michou.

“And Jorge, he ended the season on such a strong surge.

“They all feel like they are good enough to get back in these events, and maybe even some more.”

Prior to this season, Michou said records indicate that only three athletes in Lipan history had ever qualified for state, most recently Jake Green in the 400 in 2010.

Michou said a large part of the success is the support the community, known primarily for its basketball success, has thrown behind the track team.

“I would like to acknowledge that the school district and school board have been very supportive of track,” he said.

“We added coach Sara Massey (a couple years ago), and this year coach (Amber) Branson got on board. Coach (Cody) Chandler got involved this year.

“Whatever we have needed to do, the whole community has gotten involved.”

It also helped the program when the University Interscholastic League split Class A into Division I and Division II.

“We hope we can make state appearances in cross country and track for a long time to come.”

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