HHS junior Honey Hickman, right, approaches a hurdle during racing last Thursday at Ava. Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Houston High School’s track and field teams both had good showings at last Thursday’s 14-team Ava Invitational, as the girls took second and the boys placed third.

Both HHS squads had several notable performances in the event.


•Senior Olivia Crites took second in a the 300-meter hurdles in a field of 11, placed second in the high jump among 10 competitors and finished fourth in a field of 23 in the long jump.

•Senior Makenzie Arthur took first in the javelin among 20 throwers, placed sixth in a field of 16 in the discus and finished seventh among 16 competitors in the shot put.

•Freshman Carli Cummins placed fifth among 25 runners in the 200-meter dash and finished eighth in a field of 29 in the 100.

HHS sophomore Kristen Ely carries a baton during a relay race at Ava.

•Freshman Kayla Wagner took second among 8 runners in the 400-meter dash, placed second in the triple jump in a field of eight and placed seventh in the long jump.

•Sophomore Kristen Ely placed fourth in a field of 13 in the 800-meter run.

•The 4X100 foursome of Arthur, Cummins, Weaver and junior Honey Hickman took second among five teams.

•The 4X200 foursome of Cummins, Hickman, Weaver and sophomore Elysia Graciano took second among five teams.


•Senior Harold Lassiter topped a field of 32 in the javelin (with a toss of 137 feet, 6 inches), took third in the discus (in a field of 28) and placed fourth in the shot put (among 31 competitors).

•Sophomore Davontae Mister placed eighth in a field of 22 runners in the 400-meter dash.

•Freshman Jack Sawyer finished seventh in a field of 28 in the 800-meter run.

HHS freshman Kayla Wagner soars above the sand in jumping competition at Ava.

•Freshman Warren Hinkle placed ninth among 24 runners in the 1,600-meter run.

•In the triple jump, Mister took fourth and freshman Gavyn Daily placed fifth.

The two HHS squads opened the season on Tuesday of last week at the annual West Plains Open.

No team scores were kept in the 15-team event. Houston had several notable performances. 


•Lassiter: Second in javelin, fourth in discus.

•Bryson Alexander: Fifth in the 200-meter dash.

•4x100m Relay:  Third (DJ Riley, Layne Seago, Harold Lassiter, Brady Brookshire).


•Makenzi Arthur: First in javelin.

•Olivia Crites: Second in 300-meter hurdles, second in high jump, fourth in long jump, fifth in triple jump.

•Kristen Ely: Third in 800-meter run.

•Kayla Wagner: Wagner: Second in 400-meter dash her time was only 1 second off of the HHS girls school record), second in high jump, second in triple jump.

•4x800m relay: Second (Miah Bressie, Korina Gutknecht, Kristen Ely, Allie Benoist).

•Freshman Loran Drake: Sixth in pole vault (she is the first-ever HHS girl to place in the event and is closing in on the school record). 

Houston’s boys and girls teams are both very young this year, as there are only six upperclassmen in the entire program.

“We are battling with inconsistent performances a little bit early in the season,” said head coach Mike Tottingham, “but this year’s group is one of the hardest-working I’ve had and I’m very happy with the way that they have competed. We are going to have a little bit of growing pains with the boys. They have a lot of potential and will be very good as soon as next season, and might even make some noise this season if they keep working. 

“My girls team is the most talented I’ve had since starting in Houston. The freshmen are picking everything up quickly and with the help of my seniors Olivia and Makenzi. I’m super excited to see what they can accomplish as the season moves forward.”  

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