Crossroads athletes bring home a bevy of medals at state track
May 15, 2010 at 12:15 a.m.
AUSTIN - Wharton's Myavia Armstrong is a freshman so it only stands to reason that she would be nervous competing at the UIL Track and Field State Championships.
But Armstrong ran like a steeled veteran when the gun went off, claiming a gold and silver medal on Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Armstrong won the Class 3A girls 100-meter dash and finished second in the 200 to highlight a medal rush by Advocate-area performers that included a team co-championship by the Rice Consolidated girls.
The morning weather was cool before the sun came out in the afternoon and the performances heated up right along with the temperatures.
Goliad's Amber Perry won a gold medal in the Class 3A girls 400-meter dash, Karnes City's Brittany Kinney captured her second gold medal in the Class 2A girls triple jump, and Jaquita Woods helped the Rice Consolidated girls win their first-ever team championship by earning a gold medal in the 300-meter hurdles.
Yoakum's William Markert closed out his high school career by winning a silver medal in the Class 3A boys discus and a bronze in the shot put. Van Vleck's La'Tricia Griffin added a silver medal in the shot put to the silver she won in the discus on Friday.
Armstrong came into the state meet seeded fourth in the 100, but she led virtually the entire race before finishing in a time of 12.37 seconds.
"I was very, very nervous at first," Armstrong said. "I was actually crying before the race started. I guess I just.I don't know. I really don't like to lose so it makes me actually run."
Armstrong led for much of the way in the 200 before finishing second in a time of 24.86, which left her disappointed but hardly dissatisfied.
"I think it's still pretty good," Armstrong said. "I've run against people and good competition because I run summer track and we run against people from different states. I'm used to the competition."
Perry won her first gold medal despite competing in the 400 less than 20 minutes after running the anchor leg on Goliad's 800 relay team (1:43.99) that finished fourth.
"It's awesome," Perry said. "I was nervous but my coach gave me a little message and I had enough energy to beat her (Waco Connally's Paula Smith) at the end."
Perry gritted it out and took the lead down the stretch before finishing with a season-best time of 55.74.
"She was going to start off fast so I said I'll start off fast and keep up with her," Perry said. "If she was going to slow then I would pass her. I did that and I had enough energy to finish. My legs are numb. I was just running on.I don't know."
Karnes City coach Donnie Dziuk was a little concerned with the morning temperatures, but Kinney relieved his anxiety by leaping 38 feet on her first attempt in the triple jump.
"I was concerned because she's more of a warm weather jumper," Dziuk said. "The first jump was a good thing. She put the pressure on the rest of the field and I think it did mess with a few of them."
Kinney wasted no time in winning her third consecutive medal in the event.
"I had to keep my sweats on the whole time," she said. "I learned that at district. It was real rainy and it was cold, but I figured out the way my muscles are so I was OK. I felt like the first jump was a good one. I thought I was going to be able to go farther, but to get that one out of the way, I was like, 'Yes.'"
Markert was making his third appearance at the state meet and medaled for the first time. He missed gold medal in the discus (174-7) by one inch in the morning before finishing third in the shot put (55-7.75) in the afternoon.
"It was heartbreaking," Markert said. "I came out and started throwing good and every throw, an awesome day in disc for me and just came out 1 inch away. I still feel good coming out my last year going in and trying to do my hardest and getting two medals."
Griffin talked to her older brother, Avery, a Van Vleck graduate who medaled in the discus at the state meet, before competing. She earned her second silver medal by throwing 41-3 in the shot put.
"He told me just to have fun and don't over think it," Griffin said. "You made it this far so why worry with the rest of it."
Woods' gold in the 300 hurdles (44.29) and the bronze in the 800 relay (1:45.03) were the only medals won by the Lady Raiders. But they scored points in all three relays to share the team title with Centerville with 36 points.
"We had three relays here but you still have got to come up and perform and we performed," said Rice Consolidated coach Brad Dumont. "The girls did a great job working hard the whole way. Our anchor on the sprint relay didn't run because of an injury and we moved some people around and we did as well as we possibly could."
Armstrong was hoping to win both the 100 and 200, but like Perry, Kinney and Woods she'll get a chance next year to try and come back to the state meet and do it again.
"I think it's a great accomplishment," said Wharton coach Courtney Carter. "It's like a life-changing accomplishment and I think it's going to give her motivation to work harder next season and come back and win two golds."