Rockets finish fifth in loaded region - Girls place ninth

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By Todd Martin

The Shelby County boys' and girls' track team hosted the Class 3A Region meet Wednesday, and both teams competed well.

The Rockets took fifth place and the Lady Rockets ninth in what is widely considered the most difficult region in any class in the state.


Stacey Eden and Matt Spencer led the charge for the Rockets. Eden won the 3,200 meter race with a time of 9:45.02 and anchored the 4x800 relay and ran on the 4x400 relay as well.

"Stacey had a very good day," SCHS head boys coach Jerry Lucas said. "He ran a very smart race in the 3,200, and finished strong. It's certainly very impressive for any sophomore to win a regional title, but Stacey's goal is definitely much higher and he knows he has to have a great week of practice and get focused for the state meet next week."

Joining Eden on the 4x800 relay team that placed second and also earned a trip to state were Max Eden, J.J. Depasco and Jonathan Pernell. The team finished with a time of 8:36.8.

"Even though the times in the race were a little off, the guys ran well and did what they needed to do to be running in the finals at state next week," Lucas said.

Spencer placed second in the shot put and discus for the Rockets, earning a trip to the state meet in both.

Spencer went 131-11 in the discus, about 15 feet behind Andrew Miller of Ballard, and then threw 44-03.25, just about two feet off Miller's winning shot put throw.

"I'm very proud of Matt and the way he competed," Lucas said. "He had a very impressive day."

Max Eden had the next highest finish for the Rockets, placing fourth in the 800 with a time of 2:08.94. Max was also on the 4x400 team with Stacey, Pernell and Tyler Whitehouse that finished fifth.

"Max was solid all day in the relays and in the 800," Lucas said. "He was only about four seconds off the regional winners time."

Along with his work in the relays, Whitehouse also finished sixth in the 400 with a time of 52.65.

"It was an incredibly strong 400 field, and Tyler ran well," Lucas said. "I know he's a little disappointed in sixth place, but I thought he ran a super race."

The 4x200 team of Pernell, Whitehouse, Edwin Thomas and Rico O'Bannon rounded out the points for the Rockets, placing sixth with a time of 136.35.

"It was a good meet overall for the boys, and all should be proud," Lucas said. "We had 65 boys on the team this season and 18 competed in the regional. We finished a solid fifth place as a team and we're taking some kid to the state competition. It's been fun coaching this group this year, and we still have another meet to go."

Lady Rockets

The Lady Rockets were led by two fifth-place relay teams.

The 4x400 relay team of Leeara Cardwell, Shera Clark, Amanda Williamson and Janese Thomas finished with a time of 4:26.97.

Cardwell, Clark and Thomas then joined with Elizabeth Plante to run a time of 1:55.20 in the 4x200.

Alyssa Anderson was the only Lady Rocket to score in an individual event, placing sixth in the mile with a time of 6:02.81.