AUSTIN- The Texas Panhandle saw 16 medal winners, including six gold medal championships during the UIL Class 1A State Track and Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday.
Emily Berry, Happy
Event: 400 meter run
Performance: Berry was electric clocking a season-best time of 58.90 to end her high school career with a gold medal. Berry even keeps the Cowgirls tradition alive in this race. Since 2017 a Happy girl’s athlete has won the 400 meter run. Rylee Johnson won three straight from 2017-2019. After the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled 2020, Rylee’s younger sister, Kenli, won gold in the 400 in 2021, followed by Berry on Saturday night.
Quoting Berry: “This is exciting because I won state, and this is the only time I’ve ever competed here at state. I knew I had to go out there and just give it my all.”
Dustin Bryant, Wildorado
Events: Long jump and triple jump (bronze)
Performance: Bryant had a repeat outing from his at state last season. The Wildorado senior opened Friday morning defending his long jump championship with a leap of 22-feet-2 1/2. He then popped off a 43-feet-10 3/4 to grab a bronze medal in the triple jump. Bryant ends his career with two gold medals and two bronze medals in two appearances at the UIL Class 1A State Track and Field Championships.
Quoting Bryant: “It’s hard to explain the feeling of winning this state championship once again. Coming into my senior season that was my goal. But I’m happy to win for a second time in a row. To win another bronze was also great. I knew on my last jump of the triple I just had to give it my all. I’m blessed to be here and It’s a great way to end my senior year.”
Anna Hudson, Miami
Events: 100 and 200 meter dash
Performance: Hudson was right at home at Mike A. Myers Stadium as she defended both the 100 and 200 meter state championships from a year ago. Hudson set a new Class 1A meet record blazing a 12.24 in the 100 meter dash. She followed that fantastic effort by clocking a 25.87 to win the 200 meter. In two years at the state meet, Hudson has collected an impressive six total medals, including four gold medals.
Quoting Hudson: “Winning matters to me but I really look at my times. I felt my times were really good and I was happy with them. Last year was nerve racking but this year I was ready to go to defend my titles.”
Valley 400 and 800 meter relays
Team: Adrian Valdez, Jr., Parker Hartman, Jr., Jaxon Edwards, Sr., Blake Beard, Jr.
Performance: The Valley relay teams dominated the state meet winning two gold medals with a time of 43.04 in the sprint relay, followed by a time of 1:29.68 in the 800 meter relay. Scoring those 40 points were key to the Patriots claiming their third state team championship since 2017.
Quoting Edwards: “It feels good to finally bring back a title to Valley. We were nervous but we’re more than excited with how we ran today, and even more excited we get to bring back a state championship.”
Makenna Byrd, Wildorado
Event: Pole vault and 100-meter hurdles
Performance: Byrd added to an already crowded trophy case winning a pair of silver medals in the pole vault and 100-meter hurdles. Byrd, a junior that won two gold medals, and two bronze medals last season, cleared 10-feet on Friday morning to get back on the silver medal stand. In the evening session, Byrd ran a hurdle time of 15.88.
Quoting Byrd: “This means a lot more. I’ve been injured all year. I didn’t get back to track until district. So, working hard to get here and be a state is awesome. I still have a lot of work to do. But I’m excited to be back and get a medal.”
Happy 1600 meter relay
Team: Brittney Gibson, Jr., Ashlyn White, Sr., Emily Berry, Sr., Bailee Baggerman, Sr.
Performance: The Happy girls made a tremendous rally on the back of Emily Berry to clinch a silver medal spot on the podium Saturday night. Running the third leg, Berry took the handoff in fifth place and sprinted ahead to second place by the time she handed the stick to Baggerman who was able make second place standup for a time of 4:13.64.
Quoting Berry: “This was my last year and I wanted to something special. I was little out of breath, but I knew I could go faster. I just had the mentality to get in good shape to handoff to Bailey. We just put it all on the line as a team.”
Brenna Francis, Silverton
Event: Long jump
Performance: The sophomore capped off a fantastic sophomore season leaping 17-feet-1 1/4 on her final attempt of the long jump that catapulted Francis to a silver medal.
Quoting Francis: “I feel like I did what I needed to do to get on the podium. I felt like I was getting stronger as the jumps went on. It’s overwhelming here but I knew I could medal if I jumped the way I could.”
Andi Holland, Claude
Event: High Jump
Performance: Holland took full advantage of getting the wildcard with an unbelievable outing on Friday. The junior set a new personal mark clearing 5-feet-3 inches to win a silver medal.
Quoting Holland: “It feels amazing. I was able to set a new personal record and I had a lot of confidence. I knew that being here at state I wanted to go out and do my best, and I was able to medal.”
Adrian Rosales, Booker
Event: 3200 meter run
Performance: The freshman showed no signs of his first time running at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Rosales kicked into gear in the final 100 meters passing by Griff Reel of Guthrie to win a silver medal with a time of 10:13.25.
Quoting Rosales: “I didn’t expect to run as fast as I did. But I knew it was my last race of the year, so I left it all out there. I’m a very competitive person so this means a lot to get a medal. I’m very proud.”
Valley 800 meter relay
Team: Anna Ferrel, So., Trinity Schlueter, Fr., Jackie Ferrel, Sr., Charlie Pointer, Sr.
Performance: The Lady Patriots stayed in the race the entire way led by seniors Jackie Ferrel and Charlie Pointer to win their first ever silver medal thanks to a time of 1:47.55.
Quoting Pointer: “We’ve been wanting this since we were freshman and to finally be able to get on the medal stand was so exciting. All we wanted to do was to get on that podium and we did it.”
Blake Beard, Valley
Event: 400 meter run
Performance: Moments after running a leg in the gold medal winning 800 meter relay, Beard emptied the tank once again to earn a bronze medal in the 400 meter dash with a time of 50.42, but more importantly help the Patriots pick up key team points that resulted in a state championship.
Quoting Beard: “I emptied the tank back-to-back. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help my team win a state championship. I was gassed after it was over, but it was worth it.”
Caroline Myrick, Nazareth
Event: 100 meter dash
Performance: Myrick found her way to the medal stand running a 12.63 to hold off Aiyana Pursley of Oakwood for a bronze medal.
Quoting Myrick: “This is my first ever medal. Being from Nazareth I’m one of the only ones to make it in the sprints. Nazareth is so well known for basketball, and I love how I can represent the track program.”