County athletes compete at state

County athletes made their way to compete at the UIL state track meet at the University of Texas in Austin this past weekend, with most competing on Friday.
All together, five athletes competed in six events, with Bowie’s Kamryn Cantwell bringing home a silver medal in the girl’s 3A 400-meter dash on Friday night.
Cantwell also competed in the girl’s long jump event first thing Friday morning. She finished fifth with a jump of 17-06 1/4. It was a bit of a disappointment for her, as she had jumped over 18 feet in her previous two meets, which would have at least gotten her a bronze medal.
“I’m sure there was some weight on their minds with the tragedy that happened at school with Trent,” Coach Chuck Hall said. “I’m sure that factors into it. We might all deny it, but we have all been thinking about it and thinking about their family and what they’re going through.”
With one last chance at a medal, Cantwell knew she would have to run her best. A runner from La Marque had a faster start than the rest of the field and was able to hold on in the end for first, while Cantwell battled her regional nemesis Shiean Walters from Coleman and just beat her in a personal record time of 57.09 seconds, only .17 of a second faster.
“It brings a great conclusion to her career as an athlete at Bowie High School,” Hall said.

Bowie’s Kason Spikes had a rough day in the 3A boy’s high jump. Facing a stiff field that included the winner setting a 3A record, Spikes failed to make the opening height of 6-0.
This is higher than every other meet, with most regular meets having jumpers start at 5-6 or 5-8, letting some jumpers get into a groove. The stiff opening height along with the big stage of state leads to many high jumpers underperforming. Combine that with a breeze that was strong enough to blow the bar off by itself a couple times, it was a nerve wracking environment for anyone.
Still, Spikes had conquered pressure before. In the basketball state championship game in March, Spikes sunk the game clinching free throws down the stretch to win it for the Jackrabbits. He was dealing with a different kind of pressure on Friday.
“With everything that went on in the last day and half and just trying to stay focused and trying to get your head right, that’s hard for anyone to do,” Coach Justin Prescott said. “I’m proud of him for even coming down and putting in the time and effort. I know he didn’t get anywhere near where he wanted to get, but its just one of those things in life you learn from.”

Another high jumper, Prairie Valley’s Chase Edwards, also had a tough day in the boy’s 1A division. The opening height was 5-10 and Edwards, being the first jumper, cleared it on his first try no problem.
However, he failed to make the next height at 6-00. Three other jumpers failed the height as well, but with Edwards making the opening height in less attempts, he ended up ahead of them in sixth place.
Still, Edwards was disappointed, but was proud he got to represent his community.
“They have shown me a lot of support and stuff,” Edwards said. “Just helping me get here was a big part of it. I feel like there are going to be a lot more kids in our school area that is going to attempt to try to get here. It is an honor.”

The cousins from Forestburg, Zach Bradley and Lexi Britain, both competed in the 1A shot put event on the boys and girls side.
Britain competed first thing Saturday morning. Her best throw came in at 34-01.50, more than two feet farther than she threw at the regional meet. While it was not a personal record for her, it was good enough to place her in fifth place as she closed out her high school career that included her staring on both the volleyball and basketball teams.
“Personally, I think it’s pretty great,” Britain said. “I mean it’s state. Not many people get to come here, but I think I enjoyed team sports better.”

Bradley competed during the heat of the day on Friday and finished in eighth place, throwing 42-02 1/2. There was only one other sophomore in the field besides Bradley. Bradley did well to beat him and gained valuable experience for hopeful future visits to the state meet.
“Just the experience of being here,” Coach Cori Hayes said. “You come here for the first time. You are jittery and nervous. You don’t know what to expect with schedules and stuff like that. That prepares you for the future so that at least you know what to expect. A little easier to get in the groove.”

To read more, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.