WEATHERFORD — Mach 1 Track Club runners recently competed in the AAU Track and Field Region 18 Championships. 

The club had six Region 18 Champions and qualified 14 runners for the AAU Track and Field Junior Olympics, to be held later this month in Humble. Only the top six qualify out of Region 18 advance to nationals and Mach 1 had the majority of their runners qualify.

“I’m grateful for this season, giving the athletes an opportunity to run since they didn’t get to compete last summer due to COVID,” Mach 1 Head Coach Lupe Torres said. “I’m really proud of our 14 athletes that are going to nationals because they have put in the hard work and now we get to see their rewards.”

Aledo senior Isaac Hernandez led the charge for Mach 1 by placing third in the men’s 17-18 division 3000-meter run with a new Mach 1 record time of 9 minutes, 2 seconds, just a few seconds away from the fastest qualifier in the nation. Hernandez also got fifth place in the 1500 run with the time of 4:12. 

Weatherford senior Bryson Crippen took fourth place in the men’s 17-18 division 400 hurdles with a time of 58 seconds, a new personal record. 

The boys 15-16-year-old division had a huge day at regionals. The relay team placed first in the 4x800-meter relay. Runners included Aledo’s Sam Haught, Jack Fink and Vincent Luffey and Poolville’s Aiden Mansell. Haught also ran the boys 15-16 division open 800, with the time of 2:02, earning him the regional championship. In the boys 15-16 3000 run, Mansell earned third place with the time of 9:38, Luffey placed fourth with a time of 9:42 and Fink took sixth place with a time of 9:47. Each runner recorded a personal record. In the 1500 run, Mansell took second place with the time of 4:21.50 and Luffey finished with a time of of 4:21.58. 

The boys’ 14-year-old division 1500 race was a close one, with Aledo’s Luke Schabel placing second with a time of 4:43 and Weatherford’s Riley Starling placing third with a time of 4:44. Schabel also placed third in the 800 run with a time of 2:15 and Starling placed second in the 3000 with a time of 10:16. 

In the boys 13-year-old division 3000, Nicholas (Nico) Walden earned Region 18 Champion with a first place time of 10:41 and placed fourth in the 1500 run with a time of 4:59. 

In the girls 13-year-old division 3000 race, Emerita (Emmy) Strathmeyer placed third with a time of 11:56 and Ainsley Tims placed fourth with a time of 12:0. In the 1500, Tims placed fifth with a time of 5:27 and Strathmeyer placed sixth with a time of 5:28. 

In the girls 12-year-division, Mayden Mitchell placed first in the 3000 run with a time 11:19, and first in the 1500 with a time of 5:21. She also placed second in the 800 race with a 2:35. These were Mitchell’s first two regional titles. 

Mach 1 had one Region 19 qualifier in the girls 12-year-old division, Micah Neal. She got second place in the 3000 with a time of 10:59. In the 1500, she placed third with a time of 5:07 and she placed fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:33. She recorded the second fastest qualifying time in the 3000, going into the AAU National Meet. 

Josh Fink placed first in the boys 11-year-old division 1500 race-walk with a time of 9:14, earning him regional champ status. He also placed sixth in the 1500 run with a time of 5:53. 

“I’m very impressed with these athletes. They stepped up in a big way with their performances at regionals,” Mach 1 Coach Matt Mitchell said. “This season, we’ve had the opportunity to coach a lot of new athletes and their results were stellar, with a plethora of personal records.”

The Junior Olympics competition kicks off on July 31 at Humble High School in Humble.

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