Track: Parker gets chance to run on big stage

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 25, 2015
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Decatur sprinter Gunnar Parker narrowly missed advancing to the state meet last spring, finishing fourth in a tight 100 race at the 3A Region II meet.

Friday, the Decatur junior will get his shot to run at the site of the state meet during the prestigious Texas Relays at Mike Myers Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin.

Taking Center Stage

TAKING CENTER STAGE – Decatur’s Gunnar Parker will run in the 88th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays Friday. He finished fourth at regionals last year in the 100. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It’s an amazing opportunity to run there,” Parker said. “I’m a little nervous but once I get down there and get the number on, the shakes will work out.”

Parker is one of two Decatur runners that will take part in the 88th Clyde Littlefield Relays with some of the top high school, college and pro runners. Senior Jacob Kevetter will run in the 110 hurdles race.

Northwest will send a contingent of athletes. The Texans will field 4×800 and distance medley relays. Jacob Suchors will compete in the 1,600. The Lady Texans’ Emalee Wright will run in the 100 and 100 hurdles Division II races. The Northwest girls will also field relays in the distance medley, 4×800, 4×400 and 4×100.

Parker ran an 11.08 last year at regionals in the 100. He turned in an 11.23 last week at the Double B Relays in Bridgeport.

“I’m running good. I’ve been bad getting out of the blocks and been working on correcting it,” Parker said. “I’ve been staying in the weight room getting stronger.”

Along with the 100, he ran the 200 and 4×100 at regionals last year. Parker is considering moving from the 100 to the 400 to give him a shot at making it to the state meet.

“I’ve missed it by a hair each year,” Parker said. “I hope to get there this year in the 100, 200 or 400 – whatever gets me there.”

Parker will need to be in the top nine out of prelims Friday to earn a spot in Saturday’s finals.

“I’ve never been in front of a crowd this big,” Parker said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Northwest graduate and North Texas junior standout Troy Taylor will run in the Jerry Thompson Mile Invitational. Taylor won the Conference USA Indoor title in the 3,000, running 8:35.58. He finished third in the mile at the conference indoor championships in 4:07.06. In the fall, Taylor took 145th at the NCAA Cross Country Nationals, finishing the 10K in 31:54.2.

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