Small numbers, big results at state track meet

Catie Reeves, Sports Editor

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Four athletes, seven events, five top three finishes, and two fourth place finishes made for a successful weekend at the UIL 5A state track meet Friday and Saturday at UT’s Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

Senior Nissi Kabongo earned a state championship in the high jump, clearing 5’10”, more than four inches higher than the rest of the field. Kabongo also took home a silver medal in the 300m hurdles, and a bronze in the 800m run.

“The only thing I was thinking was ‘dude this is it, don’t choke’,” Kabongo said. “It feels amazing to be a state champ especially after the disappointment I’ve experienced in the past.”

Joining her atop the podium was senior Sanye Ford who won the long jump with a new personal record of 18’9”.

“What was going through my head was really just reminding myself of the small stuff so that I can compete to the best of my ability,” Ford said. “I was very calm and just went over what I need to do. It feels really good to be a state champion because I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and all my hard work finally paid off.”

Also medaling, freshman Evan Stewart, the only boy to make it to the state meet. Stewart earned a silver medal in the triple jump (46’9”.50) and placed 4th in the long jump.  

“I wanted to go in and get noticed not just because I’m a freshman but because of my athletic abilities,” Stewart said. “Showcasing them on that big of a stage was a huge accomplishment to me and a step in maturing my athletic career. It feels great I’ve had a really successful career as a freshman and I want to carry out even longer.”

Just missing out on a medal, senior Kristen Masucci who finished 4th in the pole vault, helping the girls’ team finish in 4th.

“I went in trying to focus only on the things that I could control and not on how cold it was or the other competitors,” Masucci said. “I knew that I could have done better and placed higher but I’m still happy that I made it and placed fourth out of all the top vaulters in the state.”