Wildorado’s Byrd, Miami’s Hudson lead way in monster day at UIL state track


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Wildorado’s Makenna Byrd, left, and Miami’s Anna Hudson, combined to win eight medals during the UIL Class 1A state track and field championships Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

AUSTIN— Not many fans who packed Mike A. Myers stadium could find Wildorado or Miami on a map, let alone pronounce the two small Texas Panhandle towns correctly.

That all changed after both girls teams left their mark in a tremendous way during the running finals at the University Interscholastic League Class 1A state track and field championships Saturday night.

In only their second year competing in UIL competition after missing the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19, the Lady Mustangs came three points from a state title racking up 45 points to 1A champion Sands 48.

“What a moment,” Wildorado head track coach Kara Lucherk said. “This team has bought in since day one. They work so hard and they deserve it. I didn’t know it would come this fast, but I knew at the first of the season we were going to be good. I’m just so proud.”

Makenna Byrd stole the show for Wildorado. The talented sophomore started a long day earning the programs first ever medal with a bronze in the pole vault. Little did she know that was the start of a historic evening. Byrd caught fire sweeping gold in the hurdle events blazing a personal-best 15.26 in the 100 hurdles, followed by another amazing race with a 46.37 to win the 300 hurdles. Byrd then closed the night grabbing her fourth medal with a bronze in the 1600 meter relay with help from teammates Emma Barrett, Jessica Merrell, and Angelica Esparza, clocking a 4:13.36.

“It’s huge,” Byrd said. “We’re making history in many ways. It’s exciting to get second as a team with our first senior class ever. I just took my races one at a time, but it was so exciting. It is something I’ll never forget.”

When it came to speed, Miami showed plenty of it. The Lady Warriors placed third as a team on the back of Anna Hudson, who was in all 42 points. If there was an MVP at a state meet, Hudson could have racked up plenty of votes. The sophomore sprinter shined early leaping 16-8 for her first career medal in the long jump. But once the running started, a Hudson turned it up to another level.

Hudson ran anchor on the 400 relay team made up of teammates Abby Skidmore, Mercedes Hartwig, and Elizabeth Gorecki, setting a new season-best 51.72 to earn a silver. Hudson then took over on her own running away with both the 100 meter dash with a 12.31, and the 200 meter thanks to a 25.37.

“I didn’t think I’d have this big of a night,” Hudson said. “I loved this environment and once it was just running I felt comfortable. The 200 is my race so I really felt good there. It’s just an amazing day. I never thought I’d be here at state.”

Miami athletic director Clint Linman echoed Hudson’s comments.

“Anna put Miami on the map today,” Linman said. “She works hard everyday, and has a lot of God given talent. Her attitude, and effort is awesome. She’s just going to get better.”

For full results of Saturday’s state meet, please visit https://www.uiltexas.org/track-field/state/track-field-state-meet-qualifiers-results

Happy’s Kenli Johnson won gold in the Class 1A 400 meter dash Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

Happy leaves state track with a smile

Happy had an outstanding showing between Kenli Johnson, the girls 1600 meter relay, and boys hurdler Stetson Jameson, pole vaulter Pace Bressler, racking up five total medals.

Johnson followed in the footsteps of her older sister Rylee, who won three straight Class 1A 400 meter state championships from 2017-2019. Johnson joined Rylee as a 400 meter state champion blazing a 59.66 for her first career gold medal. What made it even sweeter, is Rylee was on the track taking photos as the two had an emotional embrace right after Johnson won.

“Winning a gold medal at any point is so meaningful,” Johnson said. “But getting to follow in my sister’s footsteps and win the same event with her means so much more. She has coached me in my workouts and all the many running strategies. I’m so lucky to have a sister who knows all the ins and outs of the race.”

Johnson wasn’t done there. The senior closed out a fantastic year as part of a 1600 meter relay with teammates Bailee Baggerman, Daisy Berry, and Emily Berry, to nab silver with a time of 4:12.93.

Happy senior Stetson Jameson won gold in the Class 1A 300 hurdles Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

Jameson was equally impressive on Austin’s grand stage. The calf roper turned hurdler took bronze in the 110 hurdles, but then followed that running a fantastic 300 hurdle event for his first career gold medal clocking a 39.38.

“The 300 hurdles is my race,” Jameson said. “It felt good to get this gold. Being a calf roper I’m used to competing in front of big crowds, and I love it. This was awesome.”

Bressler claimed gold in the pole vault competiton.

Wildorado’s Dustin Bryant won gold in the Class 1A long jump Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

White Deer Warminski, Wildorado’s Bryant bring home multiple medals

Both White Deer’s Hunter Warminski and Wildorado’s Dustin Bryant were the Texas Panhandle highlight of the morning field event session. Bryant, a junior, made history claiming the Mustangs first ever medal, and did in grand fashion with a gold in the long jump leaping a 21-7 1/2. Bryant went on to get a bronze in the triple jump and place fourth in the high jump.

“This means a ton. I went out there and really wanted to perform for my school, and make them proud. I’m glad to have this experience, and make the most of it.”

White Deer’s Hunter Warminski won two Silvers in the Class 1A long jump and triple jump Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

Warminski ended his career with a pair of silvers in both the long and triple jump, but did leave his mark breaking the school-record in the triple jump. Already holding the school-record in the long jump, the senior popped off a personal-best 44-0 1/2 to leave his name in the triple.

“I was a little disappointed,” Warminski said. “I really wanted a gold, but to come here before and not medal, I’m very happy. It’s exciting to break the school-record. I leave with both the long and triple jump marks so that means a lot.”

Nazareth’s Emma Kleman won the Class 1A 3200 meter gold medal Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

Nazareth’s Kleman cleans up

The first gold medal Saturday went to Nazareth’s Emma Kleman. The senior smoked the competition in the 3200 meter run with a new personal-record 11:33.83. In the running session later in the evening, Kleman earned a silver in the 1600 meter run thanks to a 5:29.55.

“I’m thrilled with how my day went,” Kleman said. “In the 3200 I just wanted to come out and run my race. After not running last year it was great to be out here competing again.”

Claude’s Lanie Stapp won bronze in the triple jump Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

Stapp ends stellar career on high note

Stapp ended a stellar career finding the medal stand one more time. Despite batting a knee injury the 2019 Class 1A long jump champion

earned a bronze in the triple jump with a 36-5.

“It’s always an honor to jump here,” said Stapp, who was making her third appearance in Austin. “I’m a little disappointed. I wanted to get higher on the medal stand, but I’m happy with how I performed. That’s the deal with competing. You always have to be your best. But I’m thrilled with how my high school career went, and I’ll never forget it.”

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