AUSTIN - Refugio's Alexa Valenzuela hasn't always left a track meet in the best of moods.
The Shiner girls team finished second in the 2017 Class 2A UIL Track and Field State
Championships ( at Mike Myers Stadium at The University of Texas in Austin on Saturday, May 13, 2017 ).
Team members are (left to right): Front row kneeling, Jenna Berkovsky, Bailey Machacek; Back row standing,
Coach Cece Oden, Faith Wagner, Rashel Bonds, Kassidy Bishop, Mackinly Pilat, Charisma Thomas, Kayla McCarthy and Kyondra Miller.
[ click on any photo to enlarge ]
photos submitted by Mike Forman
The same could be said for the entire Shiner girls team.
Valenzuela and the Lady Comanches have faced their share of adversity this season.
But they showed the ability to bounce back on a sunny Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Valenzuela won a gold medal in the Class 2A 200-meter dash and a silver medal in the 100 at
the UIL Track & Field State Championships.
Shiner scored points in a number of events to finish second in the team standings, after sharing
the championship last season.
Valenzuela and the Lady Comanches highlighted Saturday, which saw area athletes capture 18 medals,
including three gold, 10 silver, and five bronze.
Valenzuela did not like the way she started the meet with a fourth-place finish in
the long jump Friday.
But the sophomore did her best to temper her frustration before returning to the
track for her running events.
"I had three more events to do," Valenzuela said. "I had three chances to get gold
and I had to get it out of my head because if not, I would have eaten myself up. I
would have been down all day today."
Valenzuela got on the right track after finishing second in the 100.
"I was very pleased," she said. "Once again, I just came back from an injury, and
it was my first time running it. I was amazed I got second. I came in third and got
Valenzuela ran the anchor leg on the 800 relay and almost made up a huge deficit
before finishing fourth.
"I wanted my team to get the feeling of being on the podium because I was there
last year," Valenzuela said. "I felt amazing and I wanted them to feel that. It was
right there, but it was too far."
Valenzuela left no doubt by winning the 200 for the second straight year.
Shiner's Mackinly Pilat clears a hurdle in the 300-meter hurdles during the UIL Track and Field State Championships
on Saturday ( May 13, 2017 ). Pilat won the silver medal in the event.
[ click on any photo to enlarge ]
"I told myself, 'It's your last race. Go all out. Win or lose, you're here.'"
Valenzuela helped the Lady Cats score 40 points to finish third behind Shiner and
ran her medal count to five.
"That's the thing with her," said Refugio coach Katie Green. "As an athlete who
wants to run in college, she needs to know that not every year is going to be the
same. There are always going to be different circumstances in what's going to
happen to you. She got a good taste this year."
The Lady Comanches' chances to repeat as team champion all but disappeared when the
800 relay team dropped the baton in the preliminaries of the Region IV-2A meet.
But they won the 400 relay and Mackinly Pilat earned a silver medal in the 300-
meter hurdles after Kassidy Bishop claimed a bronze medal in the triple jump Friday
to finish with 47 points, nine shy of team champion Gladewater Union Grove.
"After regionals, we were short a relay," said Shiner coach Cece Oden. "We
regrouped and every girl thought they could contribute. I said if everybody could
get us points, we'd have a chance and they believed it. Everybody contributed, and
that's all I can ask."
Pilat did her part by earning her first state meet medal after battling hamstring
issues last season.
"It feels really awesome," Pilat said. "I worked really hard. I'll go out every
weekend practicing, and it's good to be rewarded for it."
The more, the merrier
Van Vleck's De'Mitri Monroe, Goliad's Ricky Waer and Rice Consolidated's Riley
Schneider and Ryan Trahan won multiple medals.
Monroe, a sophomore, claimed a silver in the Class 3A 100 after losing the gold in
a photo finish, and earned bronze medals in the 400 relay and long jump.
"Competing at the state meet is the best you can have," he said. "You have a lot of
people watching you and cheering you on. I had good races and I like competing with
The Shiner girls team claimed the gold medal after winning the Class 2A 4x100m Relay at the 2017
Class 2A UIL Track and Field State Championships at Mike Myers Stadium at The University of Texas
in Austin on Saturday, May 13, 2017. Relay team members, left to right, are: Rashel Bonds,
Charisma Thomas, Bailey Machacek and Kassidy Bishop.
[ click on any photo to enlarge ]
Waer won silver medals for the second consecutive year by finishing second in the
110 and 300 hurdles.
Waer, a senior who will run at Incarnate Word, missed out on a gold medal by 100th
of a second.
"I felt clean at the beginning," he said, "and then I let the size of the meet get
to my head, and that's what cost me the race."
Schneider, a senior who will run at Texas A&M, earned a silver in the 100 hurdles
and a bronze in the 300 hurdles.
"I've been doing well this year," she said. "I've done so much better than last
year. I hit my PR by the fourth or fifth track meet and ever since then, I've been
getting better. I've been working a lot on technique and getting stronger and
Trahan, a senior who will run at Texas A&M, claimed a silver medal in the 3,200-
meter run Friday and did the same in the 1,600-meter run Saturday.
"I've come a long way in the last four years," he said. "When I started running, I
was a nobody. I never had a chance to be here. I worked my way up to state and
everything, and it wasn't supposed to end like this. It's a lesson that if I put my
mind to something, I can accomplish things."
Best for last
The Cuero 800 relay team of Jordan Whittington, Bralen Taylor, Kiki Mack and Tre
Miles turned in their best time of the season to win a Class 4A bronze medal.
"After the 4 by 1," Miles said of the 400 relay which finished fifth, "I felt we
could have pushed it more. On the 4 by 2, I said I was going to put us on the
podium and do all I had to do for my team.
"Our time of 1:27.04 is a blessing," he added. "We haven't busted 1:28 all year. To
do it at state and PR by a lot, we just give thanks to the Lord."
Schulenburg senior Josh Brown was able to successfully defend his Class 3A discus
title, but not without some anxious moments.
Brown scratched on two of his first three throws before getting the winning mark on
his fifth attempt.
"I was nervous. I was real nervous," said Brown, a senior who will throw at Texas A
&M. "I think I was more nervous than last year to repeat. I think I was trying too
hard to get one out there. I just had to slow things down a little bit and got a
Goliad in the house
Goliad came up short in its attempt to win Class 3A team titles, but brought home
two medals in addition to the two Waer won, and the one Amaya Brown earned Friday.
The girls 800 relay team of Reagan Berger, Roxanne Morris, Ashley Sulak and Brown
captured a silver medal.
"We're here in multiple events, and we were able to represent our school as good as
we have with every competition we've been to," Morris said. "Being here at Mike A.
Myers Stadium is just a really good atmosphere, and it shows just how hard we
worked this year."
Orion Hosey finished his senior season by winning the bronze in the 200.
"If someone told me I was going to get a medal, it would have been in the 4 by 2 or
200," said Hosey, who will run at Texas Lutheran University. "I really had a lot of
confidence coming out and doing well in those races."
Quite a scare
Rice Consolidated's Larissa Manciaz pushed herself to the limit in winning a silver
medal in the Class 3A 400.
She collapsed after crossing the finish line and was taken to the hospital as a
precaution after suffering from dehydration.
As a result, her teammates decided not to run the 1,600 relay.
The Lady Raiders won a silver medal in the 400 relay.
"I know we all put our heart out on the track," said senior Caitlin Ambeau. "All
the hard work and killer practices that had us dying. But at the end of the day,
I'm proud of these girls."
The following are results from the 2017 UIL State Track & Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium:
Class 4A Boys
UIL Track & Field State Championships Results
Friday, May 12, 2017
3A 3200 - 2. Ryan Trahan, Rice Consolidated, 9:29.87
2A Long Jump - 4. Alexa Valenzuela, Refugio, 17-06.25
2A Long Jump - 5. Kassidy Bishop, Shiner, 17-02.50
2A Long Jump - 6. Charisma Thomas, Shiner, 17-02.00
2A Pole Vault - 6. Brady Lyssy, Falls City, 13.00-00
3A High Jump - 7. Macee Krpec, Rice Consolidated, 5.00-00
4A Discus Throw - 3. Caeveon Patton, Cuero, 155-09
3A Shot Put - 9. Silas Robinson, Yoakum, 47-01.00
2A Triple Jump - 8. Jamel LaFond, Refugio, 43-00.25
2A Pole Vault - 2. Skylar Hall, Woodsboro, 11-06.00
2A Pole Vault - 1. Molly Wick, Weimar, 12-00.00
2A Triple Jump - 3. Kassidy Bishop, Shiner, 36-10.75
1A Long Jump - 9. Mandi Mitchon, Moulton, 15-03.00
5A High Jump - 9. Saige McLarty, Victoria West, 5-02.00
5A High Jump - 8. Abby Barnett, Victoria East, 5-02.00
3A Pole Vault - 9. Jason Stafford, Edna, 13-00.00
3A Shot Put - 8. Casey Tislow, Goliad, 37-00.00
2A Discus Throw - 1. Bralyn Fox-Smith, Refugio, 126-10
3A Triple Jump - 5. Leo Veloz, Schulenburg, 44-06.00
3A Pole Vault - 4. Kimberly Ortolon, Edna, 11-06.00
3A Long Jump - 3. Amaya Brown, Goliad, 19-03.00
3A Long Jump - 9. Roxanne Morris, Goliad, 16-11.50
5A 400 relay - 9. Victoria West 48.92
5A 100 hurdles - 6. Ryleigh Redding, Victoria West 15.06
1A 100 - 5. Tracy Moore, Waelder, 11.30
1A 400 - 5. Erin Blaschke, Moulton, 1:01.24
1A 200 - 9. Tracy Moore, Waelder, 23.74
5A 1,600 relay - 6. Victoria West, 3:19.86
Saturday, May 13, 2017
3A Discus Throw - 1. Josh Brown, Schulenburg, 176-06
3A Discus Throw - 5. Cason Brown, Schulenburg, 151-03
3A Long Jump - 3 De'Mitri Monroe, Van Vleck, 22-07.00
3A Long Jump - 9. Jordan Moore, Yoakum, 19-07.00
3A Discus Throw - 9. Ashlyn Davis, Goliad, 90-11
3A High Jump - 4. Zachary Seaman, Palacios, 6-07.00
2A Long Jump - 8. Jamel LaFond, Refugio, 20-07.50
4A Long Jump - 4. MyDestinee Franklin, Bay City, 18-00.00
2A 400 relay - 1. Shiner, 48.48
3A 400 relay - 2. Rice Consolidated, 47.71
3A 400 relay - 5. Goliad, 48.30
3A 400 relay - 3. Van Vleck, 41.69
3A 400 relay - 8. Yoakum, 42.88
3A 100 Hurdles - 2. Riley Schneider, Rice Consolidated, 14.26
3A 100 Hurdles - 6. Casey Tislow, Goliad, 15.31
2A 110 Hurdles - 8. Brody Gall, Weimar, 15.53
3A 110 Hurdles - 2. Ricky Waer, Goliad, 14.41
2A 100 Meter Dash - 2. Alexa Valenzuela, Refugio, 12.28
3A 100 Meter Dash - 2. De'Mitri Monroe, Van Vleck, 10.70
3A 100 Meter Dash - 6. Orion Hosey, Goliad, 10.99
2A 800 Meter Relay - 4. Refugio, 1:44.47
3A 800 Meter Relay - 2. Goliad, 1:41.54
3A 800 Meter Relay - Goliad (results not available)
2A 400 Meter Dash - 5. Faith Wagner, 59.78
2A 400 Meter Dash - 7. Andrew Malcolm, 50.47
3A 400 Meter Dash - 2. Larissa Manciaz, Rice Consolidated, 56.63
3A 400 Meter Dash - 8. Elizabeth Ortiz, Palacios, 58.92
2A 300 Hurdles - 2. Mackinly Pilat, Shiner, 46.98
3A 300 Hurdles - 3. Riley Schneider, Rice Consolidated, 44.38
3A 300 Hurdles - 8. Lila Filip, Palacios, 48.52
3A 300 Hurdles - 3. Ricky Waer, Goliad, 37.84
2A 200 Meter Dash - 1. Alexa Valenzuela, Refugio, 25.62
2A 200 Meter Dash - 8. Sheleigh Blocker, Bay City, 26.85
2A 200 Meter Dash - 9. Jamel LaFond, Refugio, 23.17
3A 200 Meter Dash - 9. Caitlin Morton, Van Vleck, 26.31
3A 200 Meter Dash - 3. Orion Hosey, Goliad, 21.70
3A 1,600 Meter Dash - 6. Ellie Albrecht, Goliad, 5:23.49
3A 1,600 Meter Dash - 5. Kevin Baez, Industrial, 4:27.79
3A 1,600 Meter Dash - 2. Ryan Trahan, Rice Consolidated, 4:23.49
2A 1,600 Meter Relay - 4. Shiner, 4:04.11
2A 1,600 Meter Relay - 7. Woodsboro, 3:28.31
3A 1,600 Meter Relay - 6. Goliad, 3:58.82
3A 1,600 Meter Relay - 4. Yoakum, 3:21.26
4A 400 Relay - 5. Bay City, 48.19
4A 400 Relay - 5. Cuero, 41.88
4A 100 Meter Dash - Taylor Roberson, Bay City
4A 800 Meter Relay - Bay City (girls)
4A 800 Meter Relay - Cuero (boys)
4A 200 Meter Dash - Waydale Jones, Beeville (results not available)
[ see also the Shiner Gazette story with more State Track Championship photos ]
Mike Forman is a sports writer for The Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-580-6588, or by e-mail at