GOLD MEDALS

Rylee Johnson, Happy

Year: Junior

Event: 400 meter run

Performance: Johnson defended her Class 1A 400 meter championship, taking the gold medal in the 400 meter run on a very hot track at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Johnson blazed a personal-best 58.74 to start what was a big afternoon for the junior.”

Quoting Johnson: “Sydney (Ritter) ran such a great race at regional. She’s such a strong runner. I just had to focus on what I was doing today. She always pushes me. But I ran my race and was able to come away with the win. It was a thrilling day, and I’m blessed.”

 

Jake Merrell, Valley

Year: Senior

Event: 800 and 1600 meter run

Performance: Merrell had arguably the best meet of any 1A athlete winning the 800 in a 1A state record time of 1:51.71, then taking the gold in the 1600 in 4:24.19. The 800 win for the Baylor signee was the fourth straight year Merrell has won gold in the two lap race, the 1600 victory handed him nine career state gold medals. The 800 times was the fastest run by anybody at the state meet this year. He also ran the anchor leg on Valley's 1600 Relay gold winning squad and scoring valuable points all day for the Patriots team title

Quoting Merrell: "The cherry on top of the whole meet was breaking the record in the 1600 Relay with the boys. That was extremely fun. This day was extremely eventful for me, I am extremely blessed to be here.”


 

Sydney Ritter, Groom

Year: Junior

Event: Class 1A Triple Jump, Silver in 100 meter dash and Bronze in 400 meter run.

Performance: Ritter picked up where she left off Friday by setting the new school record and a new personal-record with a leap of 37-7 1/2. That jump was good enough for Ritter to win her second gold medal of the weekend. Ritter went on to win a silver and a bronze to earn four medals and 35 team points for a fourth place finish.

Quoting Ritter: “My passion is jumping. I was able to hit my best jump on the first jump yesterday. I kept getting stronger in the Triple Jump as it went. I hit over 37-feet three times. It was exciting.”

 

Valley 1600 and 800 meter relay. 400 meter relay earns bronze.

Team: Joe Carrera, Jayton Smith, Juan Villarral, Dax Allen, Jake Merrell.

Performance:  Valley dominated the Class 1A meet winning with 72 points (second place Medina scored 34 points). Valley's three relays were the backbone of the title producing 52 points by winning the 800 and 1600 relays, along with a third place finish in the 400 Relay. Valley set a state record in 1600 with 3:25.49.

Quoting Coach Brandon Smith:  "I'm so proud of these guys," said Valley coach Brandon Smith. "Two weeks ago they really started focusing in and to run like they did to day is amazing. I am emotional. They are a different characters but they all love to win."

 

 

SILVER MEDALS

Jackson Davis, Happy

Year: Junior

Events: Class 1A Triple Jump and 400 meter run

Performance: Davis continued his tremendous meet earning a pair of silver medals Saturday jumping 44-3 1/4 in the triple jump and running a 50.82 in the 400. Davis already had made the medal stand on Friday earning a silver medal in the high jump. Davis' performance was the catalyst for Happy finishing tied for third in the team race. 

Quoting Davis: “My thing was I wanted to keep with the guy who was seeded first. When I finally passed him that’s what probably made the final 100 yards so hard. But I was proud of myself. Really this is reminder to stay humble. The Lord above has a plan and it’s all going to work out. I can’t complain when you think about how many kids didn’t get to have this opportunity. This meet is a big deal.”


 

Happy 400 meter relay and 1600 meter relay

Team: Kenli Johnson, Rylee Johnson, Kross Hiatt, Abigail Drake, Daisy Berry.

Performance: The Happy girls 400 and 1600 meter relay were impressive at the state meet, earning two silver medals with times of 51.24 and a 4:09.20. Thanks to those second place finishes the Cowgirls totalled 44 points and won the bronze team title.

Quoting Rylee Johnson: “It’s such an awesome atmosphere in Austin. We love running here. The 400 is fun, but to win with your teammates is so exciting. All of us are so close. We all are friends and run so well together. This was such a blessing.”

 

Justin Bressler, Happy

Year: Junior

Event: Class 1A Pole Vault

Performance: Bressler claimed his first career medal by clearing a personal-best 13-6 in the Class 1A Pole Vault on Saturday. Bressler took Silver over White Deer’s Hadley Freeman due to fewer misses.

Quoting Bressler: “I think it shows all the hard work I’ve put in pay off. I really feel pay off. But there is always next year. It’s good to add to the Happy success the last few years.”

 

BRONZE

Brianna Deveraux, Shamrock

Year: Junior

Class 2A: Class 1A 200 meter dash

Performance: Deveraux made the most of her first appearance in front of a packed house at Mike A. Myers Stadium. The Shamrock junior ran a 25.93 to get a bronze medal.

Quoting Deveraux: “It means a lot to me. I’ve trained hard all day everyday. I even train on weekends. This is my first year running the 200 meter dash, and I made it to state. That is something I can build on.”

 

Hadley Freeman, White Deer

Year: Senior

Event: Class 1A Pole Vault

Performance: For a second year in a row Freeman walks away from the state meet with a medal. The senior earned a bronze after clearing 13-6 on Saturday in the Class 1A Pole Vault.

Quoting Freeman: “It means a lot to me that I was able to come back down to state and medal. It’s crazy this is my last time here and will Pole Vault in high school. I’m glad I was able to end it with a medal.”

 

Noah Harris, Stratford

Year: Senior

Event: Class 2A Shot Put

Performance: 
In the final athletic event of Harris' storied career for Stratford the senior captured the bronze medal in his first appearance at the state meet. Harris uncorked a throw of 50-5 1/2 on his fourth of six attempts to earn the bronze.

Quoting Harris: “I just came out here to do my best. My coach told me get out there and have fun. Don’t worry about trying to get on the podium it will take of itself. It actually was emotional for me as my last time with Stratford. I got up this morning and thought this is the last day I get to compete as a Startford Elk and it’s a proud one.”


 

Chesna Harbert, Channing

Year: Freshman

Event: Class 1A 300 Hurdles

Performance: Harbert didn’t run like a freshman, earning a bronze medal in her first trip to Austin. Harbert ran an impressive 47.90 to get third place.

Quoting Harbert: “It felt special because everyone is cheering you on. It gives you extra adrenaline when your running. When the race is over everyone knows your name for next year.”

Note: Coming Monday will be all medal winners from the Class 2A and Class 6A meet held Saturday evening.