Orange County will be represented well on Friday and Saturday, May 14-15, when several local track athletes compete at the UIL State Track Meet in Austin.
A host of Mustangs from West Orange-Stark and LC-M’s Hayden Reed will storm the University of Austin’s Mike Meyers track and field in hopes of bringing home more of the hardware they have earned all season. Reed will compete on Friday at 1 and 7 p.m., while the Mustangs’ running events will begin around noon Saturday.

The Mustangs brought home the regional title for the third time in four years this past week, beating Tatum, 73-60, and are on a quest for a second straight AAA Track title.

“I am extremely proud of this group of kids,” head track coach Toby Foreman said. “They do what is asked of them day in and day out.  I took over this program when these seniors were in the 8th grade and all they have done is win over that period of time.”

Along the way, the Mustangs picked up impressive meet victories at Mustang Relays, YMBL, District 21-3A, Region III, and they were selected as the Most Outstanding Team at the 2010 Texas Relays.

Setting records has been the name of the game since the season began. The team of Justin Thomas, Trey Franks, Phillip Jones, and James Haynes broke the Texas Relays 4×100 record at 41.51 (Jasper 41.81 2004) and the team of Mark Roberts, Thomas, Jones, and Franks broke the Texas Relays 4×200 record at 1:26.06 (Giddings 1:28.15 2006).

“We felt good running in Austin and I thought we competed well there,” Franks said. “This is one of the goals we had for the year and we accomplished it. Then we had district and regionals and now we are looking at state.”

The Mustangs also broke three Region III records this past week in Humble. Franks set a record in the 100m race at 10.45. The 4x100m relay team set the record at 41.08, and the 4x200m team broke the record at 1:26.12.  Not only did they set records, both relay teams’ time beat the Region III 5A times as well.

The West Orange-Stark relay teams are closing in on two AAA State Records. The 4×100 record is 41.02 held by Giddings 1998 team, and the 4×200 record is 1:25.89 held by Atlanta’s 2004 team.

“We understand how special it is to win a State Championship, much less back to back Championships,” Foreman said.  “We set goals at the beginning of the year and we are at the door steps of completing all of them.  We know going in what we have to do and if we will execute like we have all year, I am confident that we will have equal success at this meet.”

Other Mustangs who brought home the gold at the regional meet and will compete in Austin are defending 110m hurdle champion Phillip Jones, who finished his race at 14.30. Justin Thomas won the 200m race, finishing at 22.05 and will compete at the UIL State Track Meet for the first time.

Reed, who is a sophomore at LC-M, brought home the silver at the 4A regional meet in both the discus and the shot put. In discus, Reed threw a 156’4 to capture second and in shot put, he threw 55’4, which is short of his season best of over 59’.

“So far, this year, we have had great fan support,” Foreman said. “We would like to invite everybody to come out one more time and support our track athletes.”