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May 10-11, 2002 at University of Texas, Austin

2002 Outdoor Texas State Meet Comments

Day 1: 3 more wins for
Ychlindria Spears
makes it 14 for her career

by Chris Kuykendall

Highlights of the Texas UIL (University Interscholastic League) State
Track & Field Championships, Day One, Friday, May 10, 2002:

9:00 am, Girls' 3A Long Jump
1) Ychlindria Spears, Luling (SR), 20-05 3/4 (+1.7)

Spears started the day with her twelfth career state title.

9:00 am, Boys' 3A Discus Throw
1) Brian Robison, Splendora (SR), 203-1

Robison set a 3A state meet record.

Noon, Girls' 4A Discus Throw
1) Michelle Carter, Red Oak (JR), 157-3

Carter is the daughter of Olympic shot put silver medalist Michael

Noon, Boys' 3A Pole Vault
1) Sean Kennedy, Yoakum (SR), 16-6

This turned out to be the top boys' vault of the 2002 UIL state
championships. The girls' event was added to the UIL meet this year.
The Texas girls still have some catchup to do, compared to states with
more vault experience.

1:30 pm, Girls' 2A Long Jump
1) Jim Anne Baker, Cisco (JR), 19-8 1/4w (+4.2)

Here, Baker started her 2002 series of three individual, two relay, and
one team state championships. Why she has a fairly good-sized (and
vocal) cheering section.

2:00 pm, Boys' 4A High Jump
1) Andra Manson, Brenham (SR), 7-0

Manson had a 7-3 1/4 at the Texas Relays. His "mere" 6-8 at region
was due to stopping at that height once he qualified for Austin, not
missing at greater heights.

3:00 pm, Girls' 3A Triple Jump
1) Ychlindria Spears, Luling (SR), 43-11w (+5.7)

Spears, the national High School Record holder in this event, won her
career thirteenth state title.

4:00 pm, Boys' 4A Shot Put
1) Brian Robison, Splendora (SR), 64-3 3/4

Robison will compete collegiately for the University of Texas.

4:30 pm, Girls' 4A Triple Jump
1) LaToya Phelps, Greenville (SR), 42-5w (+4.4)

But wait! There's more! (See the sprints, below.)

4:30 pm, Boys' 4A Triple Jump
1) Jaimoy Bryant, Jasper (SR), 51-11 3/4w (+3.7)
2) Vincent Marshall, Ennis (SR), 51-8 1/4 (+4.1)

Bryant got the win, but Marshall with a wind-legal 50-9 earned a 4A
state meet record.

5:00 pm, Girls' 4A Shot Put
1) Michelle Carter, Red Oak (JR), 53-3 3/4

This was a UIL meet record (meaning a record for all five classes).

6:00 pm, Girls' 1A High Jump
1) Ashley Robbins, Tilden McMullen County (JR), 6-0 1/4
2) Alesha Stegemoller, Priddy (JR), 5-9
3) Lacy Wilson, Shamrock ( ), 5-8

In the previous four seasons (1998-2001), after the departure of Amy
Acuff and Erin Aldrich from the Texas high school scene, only eight
jumpers nationally cleared 6-0 or better, an average of just two per
year. Only one of those eight was from Texas, and that clearance didn't
occur at the state meet. The small-school competition in 1A seemed an
unlikely place for this kind of ability, but there in a much-anticipated
matchup early Friday evening were Stegemoller and Robbins who both had
achieved 6-0 at their respective regional meets. Moreover, Wilson's 5-9
1/2 at the regionals was itself an inch and a half better than any of
the other regional qualifying marks in classes 2A through 5A (although
Inika McPherson of 4A Port Arthur Lincoln had a 6-0 this spring prior to
the regionals). An added attraction in 1A was that the event featured
TWO returning state champions, occasioned by Robbins' transfer from
George West where she won a 3A state title last year.

By the time the tries at 5-4 were over, the competition was down to the
top three jumpers. I'm not positive I have this right, since I was a
ways off and not fully attentive, but at 5-6 Stegemoller had a make,
whereupon Robbins passed. Both at 5-4 had achieved whopping clearances.
Wilson, meanwhile, was looking good as well, and she too went over on a
first try at 5-6. Then, again if I have it right, it was Stegemoller
and Wilson who passed at 5-7, with Robbins sequenced in between electing
to jump and making the height on her first attempt.

At 5-8 Stegemoller just grazed the bar, and it fell off. Robbins
passed, and Wilson cleared, putting Stegemoller the defending 1A state
champion surprisingly, briefly, only in 3rd. Her second try was good,
however. No problem whatsoever. Then she and Robbins needed only one
jump each to get over 5-9, whereas Wilson went out at that height with
three misses.

Stegemoller's miss at 5-8 had put Robbins in the lead, and although
Robbins knocked the bar off twice at 5-10, Stegemoller jumping first in
theorder missed twice also. A third Stegemoller miss awarded the state
crown to Robbins, but rather than settle for a mere 5-9 win, the
McMullen County athlete cleared the 5-10 setting on her third attempt.
The bar then went to 5-10 1/4 for a prospective 1A meet record. Robbins
was clean on her first try for the record, then raised the setting to
what would be a PR 6-0 1/4, and got that height on her second jump,
further improving the 1A record. She tried three times at 6-2 1/2,
seeking to better Acuff's UIL meet record, but couldn't get over.

6:00+ pm, Girls' 4A 4x100
1) Lancaster, 46.41

Lancaster, with Jerrika Chapple running the third leg, harvested the
first of two relay titles for the evening.

7:00 pm, Boys' 4A Shot Put
1) Lucas Mireles, Corpus Christi Calallen ( ), 66-11 1/2

This was a 4A state meet record.

7:05 pm, Boys' 3A 110 Hurdles
1) Dion Cooper, Giddings ( ), 13.78w (+2.6)

Cooper's older brother Jermaine hurdles for the University of Texas.

7:15 pm, Girls' 3A 100
1) Lisa Wilson, Wilmer-Hutchins ( ), 11.56w (+2.5)
2) Ychlindria Spears, Luling (SR), 11.63w (+2.5)

Wilson snaps the Spears string...temporarily.

7:15+ pm, Girls' 4A 100
1) LaToya Phelps, Greenville (SR), 11.44 (+2.0)

Phelps here set a new UIL meet record, although there was a hand-timed
11.4 some years back.

7:25 pm, Boys' 3A 100
1) DaBryan Blanton, Forney (SR), 10.26w (+2.2)

Blanton last year had a legal-wind 10.30.

7:25+ pm, Boys' 4A 100
1) Brendan Christian, Austin Reagan (SR), 10.15w (+2.5)
2) Willie Hordge, Houston Forest Brook (JR), 10.16w (+2.5)
3) Antoine Shepherd, Lubbock Estacado ( ), 10.33w (+2.5)

The stopwatch numbers and the .01 winning margin tell the story.
Christian, favored to win and blazing down the straightaway,
nevertheless just barely got there soon enough.

7:45+ pm, Boys' 4A 400
1) Kelly Wilie, Houston Sterling (SR), 45.96

Nationally top-ranked at the high school level last year, by Track &
Field News, Willie won handily.

7:55+ pm, Girls' 4A 400
1) Jerrika Chapple, Lancaster (JR), 53.35
2) Ashlee Mitchell, Lockhart ( ), 53.66

The UIL meet record holder, with a 52.65 as a freshman in 2000, was
slower than that clocking but faster than last year. She now has won
three 400 state titles in a row. Mitchell made a good chase.

8:00 pm, Boys' 1A High Jump
1) Ryder Peacock, Woodson (SR), 7-0 1/4
2) Michael Sockwell, Menard ( ), 6-9

As if the high jump talent in the girls' 1A weren't enough, Peacock in
the boys' small-school competition likewise got the best 2002 UIL mark
of all five classes, going a quarter-inch up on Manson in 4A.

8:30 pm, Girls' 2A Triple Jump
1) Jim Anne Baker, Cisco (JR), 41-8 1/4w (+3.9)

A better leap comparatively than her distance in the long jump. Still
not her best event, though (in my opinion, anyway).

8:35 pm, Girls' 3A 200
1) Ychlindria Spears, Luling (SR), 24.20 (+1.0)

Spears, a winner by a squeaker, earned title number fourteen. See...

Richard Tijerina, "Heavy Medal Hits for Spears," Austin
American-Statesman, May 11, 2002.

8:35+ pm, Girls' 4A 200
1) LaToya Phelps, Greenville (SR), 23.75w (+2.5)

A successful sprint double, and her third state championship of the

8:45 pm, Boys' 3A 200
1) Robert Franklin, Gainesville ( ), 20.69w (+2.3)
2) DaBryan Blanton, Forney (SR), 20.77w (+2.3)

Continuing to show just how tough the boys' UIL sprint competition

8:45+ pm, Boys' 4A 200
1) Brendan Christian, Austin Reagan (SR), 20.32w (+2.4)

Christian had more of a breather than in his 100 win.

9:15+ pm, Girls' 4A 4x400
1) Lancaster, 3:45.57

The second Lancaster relay win of the day, Chapple anchoring a
five-second victory.

9:25+ pm, Boys' 4A 4x400
1) Corsicana, 3:13.79

Houston Sterling had huge problems, and Kelly Willie with an anchor of
45.0 to 45.1 was only able to move them from 8th to 4th. Meanwhile,
Austin Reagan with Brendan Christian running the anchor finished first, but
got a DQ from its second leg. [Thanks to Phil Ponebshek for providing this.]

* * *
The race I (thought I) was waiting for the next day, Saturday, was the
girls' 5A 800. To be continued...

Chris Kuykendall
Austin, Texas


Texas State Meet

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