Posted on Fri, Mar. 26, 2004

Track & Field Insider

SGP senior finds 800 a good fit

Star-Telegram Staff Writer

If last week is any indication, the 800 meters may be a perfect fit for South Grand Prairie senior Terrance Lopez.

He placed second in the event with a time of one minute, 55.82 seconds in Friday's CFISD Relays in Carrollton, where both South Grand Prairie teams won the team championships.

The season-best mark by Lopez was so good that South Grand Prairie boys coach Ken Graber said he's checking to see if it is a school record.

The time places Lopez first among Tarrant County-area competitors, displacing Keller's Hunter Garner, who has run a 1:57.13.

"Last year he wanted to be a 200 runner," Graber said. "We talked him into the 800 a couple of times, and he said, 'Well I could probably do that.' He's sold on the 800 now. That's his thing. That's his race now."

Lopez, who placed third in last year's District 8-5A cross country meet, will continue to run distance this spring along with the 800. This week at the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays, he'll compete for the first time with the Warriors' 4x400 relay team.

Best of the best

The Jesuit-Sheaner Relays will be Saturday at Jesuit High School in Dallas. Forty-five high school boys teams are scheduled to participate in the meet. The meet also features girls events for the first time.

Five Arlington-area teams will have participants in the meet, which is designed to bring in the best competition from Texas and out of state. A total of 14 Texas state champions will be in the meet, along with Jenks, Okla., which has won five consecutive state titles in Oklahoma's highest classification.

The event is named in honor of former Jesuit track coach Herb Sheaner, who coached the team from 1955 to 1975. With the competition the meet draws, Sheaner said the event resembles another high-profile one.

"Some coaches say it is like the Texas Relays," Sheaner said. "Jenks [Okla.] comes down for two meets. They come down for the Texas Relays and the other one is our meet. They want that competition."

Trae Thompson, (817) 548-5451