EA falls just short at state track meet

Published 8:24 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
The Escambia Academy Cougar track &field team traveled to Selma Thursday and Friday for the state competition, but unfortunately could not replicate the success of the JV squad had a week earlier.
The boys' squad finished second and the girls' squad finished third. Tuscaloosa Academy took first place in boys and girls events.
Escambia Academy track coach Bert Rice was disappointed with the loss, but very proud of his team's performance.
"We let it all hang out," Rice said. "We did everything we could. The competition level is really high, especially this year with the larger schools (Tuscaloosa Academy). There were several of our athletes that had second-place finishes that three years ago would've been state records."
No Cougars won individual state championships, but five EA runners came out with finishes in the Top 4 during the meet. Nykia Rolin finished second in the 110-meter hurdles; Andrea Nall finished third in the mile run and fourth in the two-mile run; brothers Alan and Matt Ash finished second and third, respectively, in the two-mile run; and Matthew Rice finished second in the triple jump.
"We had some really terrific performances," Rice said. "I'm immensely proud of the effort. Half of our kids turned in all-time bests. I had one athlete that was so distraught that they were crying. I tried to tell them that they ran the best they ever had in their life and got beat. There's nothing you can do about that. There's no shame in doing the best you can do and it not being enough."
With the good finish to the track season, Rice sees big things ahead for his young track squad.
"We really laid it on the line," he said. "We were doing a bit of rebuilding this year. We lost some stellar athletes last year. I can't say anything other than the kids did everything they could and did the best they could. There's always next year. I look into the future and the future is bright."

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