Shiner goes on a fast track to Austin
May 6, 2012 at 12:06 a.m.
SHINER - Shiner didn't have a track when Wendell Boner became the coach.
The team would travel to Yoakum to practice or run on the grass field at Comanche Stadium.
The program has made great strides since a track was installed in 2004 thanks to generosity of Jean Kasper.
Shiner won six gold medals at the Region IV-1A meet and qualified for the UIL Track and Field Championships in seven events.
The Shiner boys will be going for a team title when the meet gets under way Friday and concludes Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
"It speaks to the type of kids we have," Boner said. "Their work ethic and we're also dealing with some pretty talented kids.
"The more success we've had the more kids have gotten involved and wanted to come out and try to do something and saw that they could succeed in this."
The Comanches won the 400-, 800-, and 1,600-meter relays at the regional meet and finished second in the boys team standings to Ganado.
If Shiner can repeat the feat and score 60 points at the state meet, a title would be within its grasp.
"I think it's amazing," said Lucian Blaschke, who runs on the 1,600 relay with Evel Jones, Marlon Wallace and Zach Lawrence. "We're pushing to make a mark for Shiner in track. As long a we get the baton around and run our best times, we have a chance to be competitive."
The success of the relay teams has been the result of more than speed.
The runners work well together and have adjusted to each other's running styles.
"What has helped is in the 4 by 100 and 4 by 200, the most difficult ones, they run the same legs," Boner said of Marcus Coleman, Jones, Lawrence and Trev Flowers. "It's the same four kids and they get timing. The more you run, the more you get the feel of it. We've kept them in the same order and they hand the baton to the same person and it's helped."
Jones has the fastest time in the area in the 400. But having him run the relays presented the Comanches with an opportunity to score more points.
"They knew that together we could do a lot more than piece together an individual event here and there," Boner said. "We have four guys in every race that can run pretty good and could give every relay a chance and that would give us our best chance to win."
The Lady Comanches aren't shooting for a team title, but have a chance to bring home some hardware.
Stacey Perez will be making her fourth appearance at the state meet after winning the 100 hurdles at the regional meet.
Laneshia Hunt (100) and Meloni Berger (300 hurdles) will be going to the state meet for the second time after winning their events at the regional meet.
Perez, Hunt and Berger will also join Cassie Stafford on the 400 relay team that finished third at the regional meet and earned a call up to the state meet.
"I feel like all the hard work has paid off," Perez said.
Perez won a silver medal in the hurdles last year, and along with Hunt, earned a silver medal as part of the 400 relay as a freshman.
"At state anything can happen," Perez said. "As long as I stay focused and don't let anything in my way on that day. If I have a good start and I don't hit any hurdles and I just have good form, I'll be OK."
Perez and teammates on the boys and girls teams have done their part to put the track and field program on the map and they're excited about taking another step.
"The key is just go out there and do the best you can," Flowers said. "Don't be all nervous or tense up. Just run out there and do the best you can."
Shiner has been good enough to win state championships in football, baseball and softball.
Those teams have earned the traditional ride through town on a fire truck.
"That's what everybody wants to do in Shiner is ride on the fire engine," Boner said. "I think it would be special. It would definitely show something. We've got our work cut out for ourselves. It's got to go like clockwork, but we're going to give it our best shot."