BLOOMING GROVE —
Hunter Hawkins knew.
He felt it and knew it when he hit the two-mile mark of the race. That’s just about the time he pulled up to the shoulder of the No. 2 runner in the Class 2A Region Cross Country Meet on Saturday.
That’s when Hawkins knew he was headed for the state meet.
He got there in style, finishing third in the region meet to qualify for the Class 2A state championship meet on Saturday at Round Rock, where he hopes to run the best time of his life.
He has a good chance to beat his time of 17:04 that he ran on Saturday because he had to run in the mud at Humble, where the top three teams and the top 10 runners qualified for the state meet.
It didn’t matter to Hawkins, who would have run through a wall to get to state.
He had been so close before.
He was in the top 30 runners as a sophomore and after earning another trip to the region meet last year as a bigger and stronger junior he almost made it, finishing 13th in the field, just three spots away from state.
That’s why Saturday’s race meant so much to Hawkins, who won the District 9-2A meet easily and helped lead Blooming Grove to the boys team title.
Hawkins has run a personal best of 16:20, and he has already orally committed to Texas A&M at Commerce, where he plans on running long distance races in college.
But what happened on Saturday brought tears to his eyes.
“At about the two-mile mark he pulled up to the shoulder of the No. 2 runner,’’ said Hunter’s mother, Jody Hawkins, who coached cross country and distance running at Blooming Grove for years. She has a long list of accolades as a runner and a coach, but nothing made her happier than seeing her son reach one of his goals.
“When he pulled up to the No. 2 runner he looked over to his dad (Mark) and he kind of smiled,’’ she said.
That’s when Hawkins knew he was going to finish strong.
“You could see it. He was thinking, ‘This is my time,’” Jody Hawkins said. “And then you could see the tears in his eyes. He finished the race by outkicking the kid who was the 800-meter state champ to take third.’’
That’s how Hawkins finished the race, with a kick that sent him right to the state meet.
“He was so excited after the race,’’ Jody Hawkins said. “It has been a long time coming for him. He was really excited.’’
BLOOMING GROVE —
Hunter Hawkins knew.
GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981
The wait is over.
And it came just in time for Brett Anderson, who left it all on the mound Tuesday night at Kerens, where he pitched a masterpiece to lead the Bobcats over Cayuga, 5-1, and help the program win its first baseball district title since 1981.
“I've got no gas left. I'm out,'' said Anderson, a senior lefty who stopped Cayuga cold, holding the three-time defending district champs to just three singles while striking out 14.
GC Basebal Roundup: Corsicana blasts Jacksonville; BG wins huge district game
The Corsicana Tigers wrapped up district play with a dominating 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Indians behind Trevor Nolen, who shut out the Indians and allowed only one hit over 6 1/3 innings. Donovan Fields came on to retire the final two hitters. The Tiger pitchers limited the Indians to only 25 plate appearances in the game and no runner to reach third base.
Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back
Professional rodeo entertainer Ronald Burton returns to the Navarro County Exposition Center April 25-26 to entertain the crowd at the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro Rodeo.
Huggins to call shots at Derrick Days Rodeo
West Huggins will serve as the announcer for the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro rodeo. The Gardendale native is the reigning three-time United Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the Year.
Dill gets 300th win in Navarro baseball sweep of Bossier Parish
Navarro baseball’s weekend in Louisiana was significant on a number of fronts. On one hand, coach Whoa Dill notched his 300th win. On the other, and perhaps more importantly, the Bulldogs simply continued to play well. The Bulldogs swept Bossier Parish to move 14-11 in Region XIV East Zone play, and 27-17 overall.
Mildred sending five to regional track meet
Sasha Ballard set a school record in the 800 meters and paced a contingent of five Mildred thinclads heading to Stephenville for the regionals later this week.
Kerens boys grab four gold medals at area track meet
Tavion Hall and Jalon Moss each snared a pair of gold medals as Kerens boys finished second at their area track meet last week with 88 points.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
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- GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981