The Melissa Lady Cardinals captured their first-ever Area track and field championsip at the Class 3A level on April 17. Additionally, Melissa qualified 16 individuals to the Regional track meet, tying the school record set last year.

The Area round is a new concept to UIL track, and it presents an extra hurdle for track athletes to qualify for regionals. In the past, the eight districts in the region would send three runners to Regionals. With the advent of the Area round, the four areas now send only four runners to regionals, reducing the number of qualifiers from 24 to 16.

"I think the idea was to get the most talent at Regionals," said Melissa Coach Michael Bardgett. "The extra meet and the fact that fewer qualify for regionals makes it a more special honor for those who have qualified. It also helps district that have four quality runners like we do in our distance events. Without the Area meet, one of the top runners in the state would have been left behind in either the 1600 or 3200."

In a truly dominant showing against the combined forces of Districts 11 and 12, the Lady Cards won by 56 points over second place Ferris, 148-92.

"Obviously in a qualifying meet like this your goal is to qualify as many athletes to Regionals as you can," Bardgett said. "In setting a school record for qualifiers we achieved that goal but to also win the Area meet is pretty special.

"All the credit goes to these athletes and their coaches for the work they put in. We were able to spread out a little better than most schools and have quality competitors in each event which helped us build that lead. The fact that we’re probably the smallest school in the Area made our job that much tougher, but our athletes were able to rise to the occasion."

Below are the results from the Area meet. Top four qualify for Regionals.

3200

1st Ashley New 11.41.05

2nd Jackii Thomas 11.58.73

4th Kambri Gabel 12.12.95

4 X 100

7th Raegan Brogdon 56.39

Lexi Hansen

Hannah Gnader

Maxine Anderson

800

1st Elise Hawn 2.24.86

3rd Kailey Burton 2.30.98

4th Sophie Bennett 2.34.51

100H

3rd Erin Nelson 17.30

6th Cat Whitten 18.50

100

7th Raegan Brogdon 14.28

4 X 200

6th Courtney Cottrell 1:50.52

Ashley Henger

Megan Conlin

Madison Rose

400

5th Connar Newberry 66.33

300H

6th Cat Whitten 51.64

200

7th Megan Conlin 29.83

1600

2nd Ashley New 5.40.25

3rd Jackii Thomas 5.45.56

4th Kambri Gabel 5.49.24

4 X 400

4th Ashley Henger 4:13.57

Connar Newberry

Kailey Burton

Sophie Bennett

Shot Put

2nd Kelsey Smith 33’4.5"

3rd Whitney Taylor 32’6"

Discus

4th Bridie Burchett 97’2"

High Jump

2nd Stephanie Deblois 4’10"

5th Raegan Brogdon 4’6"

Long Jump

3rd Madison Rose 14’11.5"

4th Elise Hawn 14’11"

Triple Jump

3rd Madison Rose 32’0.5"

8th Elise Hawn 29’10"

Pole Vault

1st Ally Terry 8’0"

2nd Hannah Tenney 7’6"

3rd Haley Weisinger 7’0"