For Ballinger Track and Field the last week has been very eventful. With the Ballinger track still undergoing repairs from last years tornado not only have they not had a consistent practice venue, but they had to find another location to host the local track meet. Thankfully Winters ISD was gracious enough to allow Ballinger to host on their track on Thursday, March 5th.


The Junior Varsity boys, with 93 points, were just 2 points away from taking first place from Comanche in a highly competitive track meet. In the 100 meter dash Trey Matschek got points on the board with a 6th place finish and Blake Collom had a 5th place finish in the 200m dash. Bryce Sallee continued his strong track season with a 1st place finish in the 400m dash and the 800m run. In the 1-mile Damian Ornelaz was dominant, finishing nine seconds ahead of 2nd place. In the 2-mile however he came in at 5th. Carter Arrott, fresh of the basketball playoffs, was able to run in his first meet of the season. In the 300m hurdles Carter took 1st place over two seconds ahead of 2nd place. The relays started off a little rough for Ballinger as the 4×100 team of Landyn McIntyre, Luke Rollwitz, Carter Arrott and Nathan Rivera-McDuffee finished 5th in a highly competitive race. The 4×200 team of Rollwitz, McIntyre, Blake Collom and Tyler Vaughn took 1st as well as the combination of Rollwitz, McIntyre, Sallee and Arrott in in the 4×400.


Like the boys, the Junior Varsity girls were just shy of finishing first as a team, but finished with 88, three points behind first place Comanche. Christy Zhuang started things off with a 6th place finish in the 100m dash, Mikaela Gonzalez was 3rd in the 200m dash, as well as June Burrick and Allison Ferguson finishing 3rd and 5th in the 400m dash. In the 800 meter run Natalia Rangel was able to take 1st place and 3rd place in the 1-mile. Sydny Jones took 5th in the 1-mile and 3rd in the 2-mile. Skyla Hostetter looked strong in the 300m hurdles finishing 4th overall. All three relay teams placed for Ballinger as the 4×100 team of Alina Pena, Allison Ferguson, Chloe Reyes and Christy Zhuang finished 3rd as did Christy, Jersey Perkins, Skyla Hostetter and Mikaela Gonzalez in the 4×200. The 4×400 team consisting of Mikaela, Jersey, Skyla and Natalia Rangel took 1st place over Comanche.


Ballinger Girls Varsity took 3rd place behind Wall and Grape Creek, but still had very strong performances individually and as a team. Elyssa Korn-Flores did well with a 1st place finish in the 200m dash. The duo of Danielle Pena and Avery Knickerbocker finished 4th and 6th in the 800m run. Ema’leigh Rosser did very well in the distance runs finishing 3rd in both the 1 and 2-mile. Addison Martin took a strong 2nd place finish, over two seconds ahead of 3rd. The relay team of Addison Martin, Jillian Halfmann, Danielle Pena and Elyssa Korn-Flores had a strong showing as well. A neck and neck battle with wall in the 4×200 had them finish 2nd just two tenths of a second out of first. In the 4×400 the team was able to beat out Wall for 1st by nearly two and a half seconds. More impressively is the 15 seconds between 1st and 3rd.


Boys Varsity once again took 1st as a team edging out Wall by 10 points. Ballinger started things off with a bang in the 200m dash. JoeMarcus Guerrero was two hundredths of a second behind 1st as he finished 2nd. Adrian Anene came in strong at 4th as did Peter Alfaro at 6th. All three finished less than one second apart in their times. Landen Landers represented Ballinger in the 400m dash and he did well taking 1st place. Javion Zavala took 2nd in the 800m run, as did Nate Gallant in the 2-mile, Weston Rollwitz in the 110m hurdles and Dylan Hostetter in the 300m hurdles. JoeMarcus, Peter, Adrian and Weston took 1st place in the 4×200. The highlight of the night, however, was in the 4×400. Coach Gayoso put together two teams for Ballinger to get some internal competitiveness going. The team of JoeMarcus Guerrero, Adrian Anene, Javion Zavala and Dylan Hostetter were just able to fend of the team of Bradyn Bowman, Landen Landers, Peter Alfaro and Weston Rollwitz. The second Ballinger team finished just behind the 1st place finisher, but Ballinger only submitted one team for points so Ballinger defeated the official 2nd place team by nine seconds. It was definitely an exciting race to watch.


On March 7th Ballinger athletes would travel to Brownwood to take place in the Bluebonnet Relays. This was to allow athletes to take part in field events and some of the running events to be held against upper level competition. Ballinger took six Varsity boys to Brownwood to compete against the host school, Stephenville, Graham, Sweetwater, Midland Greenwood and Mineral Wells. With just those six competing in limited events they were able to score 76 team points. In field events JoeMarcus Guerrero took 1st in the triple jump, Garrett Dixon took 2nd in the Discus and Javion Zavala was 3rd in pole vault. Weston Rollwitz took 1st place in the 300m hurdles. The relay team of JoeMarcus Guerrero, Peter Alfaro, Adrian Anene and Weston Rollwitz took 2nd in the 4×200 less than a half a second behind Brownwood. In the 4×400, however, they were able to not only take first by a full five seconds they improved on their season best time by three seconds putting their current time firmly 3rd in state. Jessa McIntyre took 1st Girls Varsity Division II pole vault and Jillian Halfmann got 3rd. Nathan Rivera-McDuffee and Briley Clinton went 1st and 2nd in Division III. Elyssa Korn-Flores took 1st in the 200m dash and Jillian Halfmann took 5th while Danielle Pena took 2nd in the 400m dash and Jillian took 5th. Chelsea Martinez was 2nd in the Discus throw. Dylan Hostetter had a 4th place finish in the 110m hurdles and 3rd in the 300m hurdles. Markus Castleberry also placed in the field events with a 2nd place finish in the discus and a 5th place finish in the shot put.


Congratulations to all the Ballinger track and field athletes and good luck this week as they travel to Llano on March 12th!

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