McALESTER — Many of McAlester’s young track athletes experienced their first regional meet Saturday in Tahlequah.
Several performed well enough that they’ll get to experience their first state meet Friday in Yukon.
Led by twin hurdling championships from Shattee Robinson, ten members of the McAlester track and field team placed high enough at Saturday’s Regional to qualify for State. The Lady Buffs finished fifth overall with 65 points, and the Buffs finished seventh with 34.
“We ran as well as we possibly could with this group,” Buffs coach Richard Carney said Tuesday. “The group far surpassed what we thought they possibly could.”
Robinson won both the 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles. She posted the fastest time of any of the four regional meets in the 100, finishing in 15.89 seconds, and the second-fastest time in the 300, finishing in 47.18.
Robinson placed third in the 300 hurdles at State in 2013. She said Regionals was just her third 100 hurdles race ever, and this will be her first year competing in the 100 hurdles at State.
“In the 300, you don’t have to worry about your steps, really,” Robinson. “But in the 100, I have to concentrate harder and count my steps between each hurdle.”
Robinson was also part of the McAlester 4x400 relay that entered the 2014 Regionals seeded sixth but placed second and qualified for State. Robinson, Megan Fassino, Ashley Taylor and Stephanie Hurley finished the race in 4 minutes, 20.53 seconds.
“We were really connected in that one,” Fassino said. “We were happy. We weren’t nervous. We were just focused.”
Taylor also made State in the pole vault, placing third with a height of 7 feet, 0 inches. Shelbie Walker made State in the long jump, placing third with a distance of 13-11.50.
Neither Taylor nor Walker made State in 2013. Walker said performing well at State will require “getting my speed enough to hit the board just right and getting my full acceleration.”