AUSTIN — Refugio’s Alexa Valenzuela was in tears after winning the Class 2A 200-meter dash at the UIL Track & Field State Championships.
Shiner’s Sabrina Blaschke leaps during the Class 2A girls long jump Saturday at the state track and field meet in Austin.
[ click on any photo to enlarge ]
photo by Travis Harsch
Valenzuela saw the race was under review and assumed the worse.
“It was under review and I always run on the line, so I was like crushed,” Valenzuela said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”
The win stood and so did the 10 points, which helped the Lady Cats clinch their first team title since 1992.
“I’m telling you, every single thing fell into place,” said Refugio coach Katie Green. “We got huge points in the field events today. We PRed in everything. Today was PRs everywhere. We’re very pleased.”
Refugio finished with 62 points, Vega was second with 60 and Shiner was third with 40.
The outcome was in doubt until the final race — the 1,600 relay.
A win would have given Vega the team championship, but it finished second.
“No matter what would have happened, I am really pleased with the girls,” Green said. “They were amazing.”
Refugio got an important first-place finish from freshman Jai’lin King in the long jump.
“I was really nervous yesterday,” said King, who finished fifth in the high jump on Friday. “I knew if I did my best and did what I knew how to do in the long jump, I could get first.”
But the championship wouldn’t have been possible without Valenzuela, who contributed 33 points by winning the triple jump, 100 and 200 and running the anchor leg on the 800 relay that finished third.
Valenzuela, a junior, ran her state meet medal total to nine.
“I’ve always said she’ll put the team on her shoulders and she’ll carry it,” Green said. “We just kind of built it around her, to be honest.”
Even Valenzuela found a reason to smile at the meet’s conclusion.
“It’s amazing to win a team title,” she said. “I’ll celebrate a little bit but not too much.”
Shiner came up short in its bid for a team title, but the Lady Comanches made their presence felt in the relays.
Shiner won the 400- and 800-meter relays and competed in all three relays for the third time in the last four years.
“It’s all about getting the hand around and stuff like that,” Rashel Bonds said. “I guess you get a little more go if you see someone is in front of you. To do it, you just push.”
Bonds has no doubt the competition at the state meet brings out the best in the Lady Comanches.
“With our times coming in, I was a little shook compared to how I was last year. We had to work overall harder than last year.”
Woodsboro’s Garrett Burns was making his first trip to the state meet and he made it a productive one.
Burns won silver medals in the Class 2A discus and shot put.
“It was a pretty cool experience,” Burns said.
Burns was happy to get the medals, but not pleased with his overall performance.
“I didn’t execute like I should of executed,” Burns said. “I just need to work harder.”
[ see also the Shiner Gazette story with more State Track Championship photos ]
Shiner girls win gold in Class 2A 400 relay at UIL state meet. Shiner girls win gold in Class 2A 800 relay at UIL state meet. Shiner girls get ready for UIL Track & Field State Championships. [ click on any photo to enlarge ]
photos by Mike Forman via Twitter (@mikeforman21)
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org