Parks earns medal in track meet

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Despite lingering hamstring issues, Tanner Parks produced a top performance at a recent indoor track and field meet.

The Normangee resident placed second in the heptathlon at a Louisiana State University competition. Among his better finishes, the Stephen F. Austin State University senior was second in the pole vault and shot put and third in the long jump and 60-meter hurdles.

"I actually did a lot better than I thought I would," he said. "I had some hamstring problems."

He has endured sore hamstrings his whole career, he said, and this time his right hamstring was the one bothering him. But with treatment, including before the meet, he has stayed competitive.

Parks set personal bests in the hurdles and shot put, "two things I've been struggling with," he said.

The hurdles is the event in which he said he is most improved.

"I didn't ever do hurdles in high school," he said. "My times were not great at all."

He cited the hiring of Hadrien Choukroun, assistant jumps and hurdles coach, for his progress. He completed the hurdles in 8.75 seconds.

"We do a lot more technical drills," Parks said, noting that during practices the hurdles are placed 3 inches lower. "Our reps are a lot quicker."

Parks has focused on having his trail leg in the right position, too.

"If the trail leg gets over quicker, you'll get down to the ground quicker," he said.

His toss in the shot put traveled 38 feet, 4 inches. He had not reached 36 feet until then.

He has worked on positioning his right foot underneath.

"After you do your glide, you'll be able to push off your right foot and get more force," he said.

Women's basketball

Madisonville High graduate Lexie Leveston had her first double-double of the season. The Langston University sophomore had 10 points and a season-high 10 rebounds against Central Christian. A week earlier Leveston had a season-high 17 points and nine rebounds against University of Science and Arts.

Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at jdanddoc@gmail.com.

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