By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The now-perennial power Life Waxahachie track-and-field team is sending eight student-athletes to the 4A state championships this week.
The group, led by ninth-year head coach Lyle Linscomb, will compete Thursday for state gold at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
The group qualified for the state championships with their performances at the 4A Region II championships. The meet was held April 23-24 on the campus of Texas A&M – Commerce.
Before the season began, Linscomb labeled Mustang sprinters Darius Fuller and Te’Drick Robinson as two male athletes to watch. They certainly held up their end of the preseason praise, too.
Fuller covered 43 feet, 11.5 inches to win the 4A Region II championship in the triple jump. He bested Kilgore’s Corey Rider by four inches to take the title.
The feat also came just a few weeks after Fuller placed fourth in the Mustangs’ district track-and-field meet.
Robinson, meanwhile, rebroke his own school record in 110-meter hurdles en route to becoming the 4A Region II champion. His 14.36 finish edged Liberty-Elyau’s Javon Stewart (14.60).
Former Mustang Nick Forde had held the record since 2014 with a time of 14.89 prior to Robinson’s efforts in the 2021 season. Robinson first broke Forde’s record during the district meet and will enter the state meet as the second seed.
On the girls’ side, junior Bre’Anna Lacy led the charge for the six-member group.
Lacy first finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles during the regional meet, just missing a bid to the state championship.
Leah Anderson, of Midlothian Heritage, finished in a blazing 14.39 to best Godley’s Taylor McFarland (14.90) and win the regional title in the 100-meter hurdles.
Lacy then bounced back with a second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles. Her time of 45.19 was just a step behind the 45.15 posted by Heritage’s Anderson.
It was, however, plenty quick enough to send her to the 4A state championship meet.
Before the season began, Lacy was quick to let it be known that her expectation for the return to action was to win a state championship — not just individually but also as a team.
“We lost a lot of experience, but that doesn’t change our goal or discourage us from reaching it,” Lacy said previously.
“[…] While COVID caused so many negatives [last year], there is potential that the pandemic will have helped us prepare for this season. Several members of the team have taken the initiative to continue off-season training in socially distanced areas. COVID has impacted every team we will run against; it will come down to which team has stayed determined and not lost sight of the prize. Our trip was cut short last season, but we plan on making up for the lost time.”
The Lady Mustang 4×200-meter relay team also qualified for the state meet, finishing third in a time of 1:44.37. Kennedale (1:41.86) and Liberty-Elyau (1:43.67) took first and second, respectively.
The Lady Mustangs technically finished fourth in the regional meet, but a DQ and wildcard bid allowed the team to advance to the state championships.
Life Waxahachie 4X200-meter relay team members include Emeri Adames, Sanai Gort, Asia Rawlins, Ty’uanna Simmons, Chanique Tonge and Lacy.
Like Lacy, Tonge also made it clear that her preseason expectations were to advance to Austin.
“My team expectations are for us to make it to state,” she stated. “I look forward to being able to compete on the highest level at state.”
For the historians out there, the Lady Mustangs are just two years removed from a third-place team finish in the 2019 4A state championships. They were poised for a repeat-or-better run before COVID-19 stole the 2020 season.
Life School athletic director Scott Thrush said he is excited for the group of athletes to have the opportunity to compete at the state level.
“With the disappointment of having our track season canceled last year, nobody knew what to expect coming into this season,” Thrush added. “It’s been exciting to see these student-athletes and coaches compete and have success doing what they love. The coaches and athletes have shown great resilience in making a return trip to Austin to compete at the highest levels.”
The Mustangs and Lady Mustangs will travel to the University of Texas at Austin on Thursday.
Competition times for the Life School athletes events are:
- 2:45 p.m. Triple Jump
- 5:45 p.m. Men’s 110 M Hurdles
- 5:45 p.m. Women’s 110 M Hurdles
- 6:25 p.m. Women’s 4 x 200M Relay
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith