LANCASTER - The Midlothian Panthers won’t be short on competitors when they participate in the regional meet later this month following a successful District 15-4A Track and Field Meet recently.
It’s a who’s who among Panther athletes, who were able to make a name for themselves in various categories despite the Lancaster Tigers’ domination in their own backyard at Humphrey Stadium.
Among the Midlothian boys athletes to advance were Vince Frawley and Eric Frawley, who finished one and two in the pole vault; Kyle Lister and Raylon Evans in the 1600 meters; and Evans, Sam Emerson and Neal Ellis in the 3200 meters.
For the girls, Austyn Rapp took the pole vault title; Carli Kitts both the 1600 meters and 3200 meters.
As team standings go, Midlothian placed fifth in the boys category and the girls fourth.
One of the highlights of the meet came the second day when the sophomore Rapp was able to compete in the pole vault despite a multitude of injuries.
She had been forced to sit out of practices for weeks leading up to the meet when she suffered a hipflexer injury during competition a month before district and an ankle injury at home two weeks prior.
Citing that she didn’t want her season to end the week of district, Rapp persevered and won the title with a jump of 11-0 feet.
She was able to outdistance Ennis teammates Kim Hernandez (second-place, 10.0 feet) and Lauren Hodges (third place, 10.0).
Rapp also kept a Midlothian tradition intact of having a pole vaulter qualify for the regional meet 10 years running.
“It’s not a fully recovered (ankle injury) at all but I knew I was going to have to put pressure on it so I could compete; I just didn’t my season to be over at this point,” said Rapp, who wrapped bandages and tape around her golf-ball sized ankle injury, protected by a black-colored shin guard.
Midlothian coach Donnie Conner said the team’s lone female pole vaulter was going at “50 percent.”
“It’s very uncomfortable for her to run; she’s been very erratic,” Conner said. “Last Thursday was the first time she had a pole in her hand and let her run straight lines.”
Rapp knows it wasn’t her best showing, considering she usually opens her competition at 10 feet 6 inches.
She was able to achieve her 11-0 height in her third attempt.
Her personal mark is 12-6 feet, which is also a district record.
One of the other notable performances for the girls came from Carli Kitts.
Her marks in the 1600 meters and 3200 meters didn’t come close to being touched.
In the 1600 meters, she placed first with a time of 5:16.71. Her nearest competitor was Ameesha Washington, of Lancaster, at 5:31.19.
In the 3200, Kitts had a time of 11:02.11, besting Ennis’ Amy Alcala’s 12:02.82.
On the boys’ side, Vince Frawley beat his twin brother, Eric, after he cleared 15-0 feet, just ahead of Eric’s 14-6.
The title was theirs for the taking as they continously provided the best jumps of the first day.
Waxahachie’s Kelby Rush finished a distant third with a mark of 12-6 feet.
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