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Ellis County athletes continue to excel on the college level

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The Ellis County Press

Several Ellis County track and field athletes found themselves competing with each other once again at the Texas Chrisitan University Invitational March 20-21 at the Lowden Track and Field Complex on TCU’s Fort Worth campus. Two of the athletes are a part of the Texas Tech track and field team. D’Andra Carter of Red Oak and Brian Porter of Maypearl are no strangers to the world of sports. Carter was a stand-out at Red Oak in both the discus throw and the shot put. See "Former Red Oak Hawk soars high for Texas Tech" for her story. Porter has enjoyed wide success as a pole vaulter.

He was a member of the 2005 and 2006 district track and field championship teams. He was the district champion, as well as the regional champion, in pole vault for three consecutive years, 2004-2006.

He earned the bronze medal at state in pole vaulting in 2004 and came back to win the 2A State title in 2005 and 2006. His personal best pole vault height is 16’-7.75". He earned All-Big 12 honors his freshman season at Tech and All-American honors his sophomore year. Now starting his junior season, Brian has his sights set on reaching and exceeding the height of 16’6" at Regionals.

After college Brian, who is earning his degree in Exercise Sport Sciences, wants to be a collegiate jumps coach, hopefully at a Division I school. Porter will miss teammate D’Andra Carter when she graduates this December. "She [D’Andra] is like a breath of fresh air. She is always optimistic and the first to congratulate or console you on your performance. I will truly miss her when she leaves."

The University of North Texas is the college home of two other Ellis County athletes. Freshmen Amy Alcala of Ennis High School and C.J. Fowler of Waxahachie High were rivals during college, but now find themselves, "bleeding Green," as they unanimously remarked.

At the TCU Invitational, Alcala finished twelfth out of sixteen in the women’s 1500 meter run with a time of 5:06.59. A Criminal Justice major, Alcala felt welcome at UNT from the very first visit. "I felt like I was a part of the team from the first time I visited the school." Aggressive recruiting and an almost instantaneously bond with the head coach led to Alcala signing with UNT.

For her 2009 season, Alcala’s goals are to, "Gain the best placings I can. It is a little intimidating as a freshman, but I am going to do my best to come out and be a team leader."

Freshman C. J. Fowler echoed Alcala’s sentiments about UNT. "I felt welcome from the start. That paired with the coach’s past history made the decision to come to UNT easy for me." Fowler was a state qualifier in the 400-meter relay and 800-meter relay during high school as well as second-team all-district in football.

At this past weekend’s meet, Fowler was first in his heat in the men’s 200 meter dash, placing sixth overall with a time of 21.51. He was fifth in his heat in the men’s 100 meter dash and ninth over-all with a time of 10.81.

He also ran the third leg of the men’s 4x100 meter relay. He, along with teammates Byron Washington, Keyth Talley, and Justin Flowers, place fourth in the event with a time of 40.99. Fowler is a Business major with 2009 goals of being the conference champions in both indoor/outdoor track and field competition.

Environmental Science major Tommy Killen has enjoyed his time at TCU. The Junior discus and shot put thrower has also made his mark in the track and field program. For the second consecutive year Killen has won the Men’s Discus.

This year’s distance of 179’-08" was not only good enough to win the competition, but also qualified Killen for Regionals. Killen also placed third in Men’s Shot Put with a distance of 50’-11". When asked about his goals for the 2009 season, Killen replied, "I want to have a solid season and throw a good conference score. I have enjoyed my time here at TCU so far. The staff and coaches are great."

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