HIGH SCHOOL TRACK & FIELD

Cedar Park, Glenn and Rouse athletes win medals, break records

A combined four medals were won, three personal bests were set and two school records were broken at the state track meet on Friday

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Chloe Coffee needed a coin flip just to get into the girls' high jump at the State Track & Field meet.

She left with some hardware.

The Glenn sophomore set a new school and personal record, jumping 5 feet, 6 inches and winning the silver medal in the 5A girls' high jump Friday morning at Mike A. Meyers Stadium.

"Usually I'm running other events and doing a lot of different things, but my coach and I have focused in on just trying to jump higher," Coffee said. "This time I was able to peak."

It was a banner day for Leander ISD, as six athletes competed in seven events on the first day of competition. A combined four medals were won, three personal bests were set and two school records were broken.

This was the second straight appearance at the state meet for Coffee. She leaped 5 feet, 2 inches and finished fourth when the Grizzlies were in Class 4A last season.

Coffee said the biggest difference between last year and this year is maturity. She had only been jumping for a year at that point and was still figuring things out. This time around, she was more aware of priorities.

Frisco Liberty senior Nissi Kabongo won the state title with a jump of 5 feet, 10 inches. Coffee said practicing is a huge factor in jumping higher, but it's just as important to have the correct mindset.

"Of course you've got to train and build your muscles, but you've got to be mentally prepared to go and try to win something," Coffee said. "I'm my own limit."

Rouse junior Grayson Schirpik cleared 5 feet, 2 inches in the 5A girls' high jump to finish eighth in the state.

Glenn junior Gaby Thomas added to the Grizzlies' medal haul and broke one of her own school records later in the meet.

Thomas jumped 39 feet, 6.25 inches to win bronze in the 5A girls' triple jump. It's the second straight year she earned a medal in the event after winning silver last year in the 4A competition with a jump of 39 feet, 4.5 inches.

"I knew when we moved up it was going to be more competitive and we were going to have to push harder, so training just got more intense," Thomas said. "We all knew what we could do, we all knew we could compete at this level. I knew I had to push myself to get back here.

Cedar Park sophomore Meghan Wilcox ran the 100-meter dash in 12.02 seconds, good for a bronze medal. She finished eighth in 200-meter dash later in the meet, running it in 24.95 seconds.

"It was a pretty good race, I ran pretty loose," she said after the 100-meter dash. "But the start wasn't great since we had to do that second start (after a false start) so I think I came out a little tight. But I was able to fix that throughout the race."

Cedar Park freshman Kevin Adams fouled in three attempts in boys' shot put. He qualified for the state meet in his first year in high school with a throw of 55 feet, 5 inches to win the regional title in late April.

Rouse senior Abby Bendle left her mark in her last race in a Rouse uniform.

She set a new personal best in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.31 seconds, good for the bronze medal, nearly two full seconds faster than the last time she competed in the same event at the state meet as a sophomore.

"I was a lot more confident this year," Bendle said. "Two years ago, I was shaking on the line, and this year I was a little nervous that I was so was calm. But I had a clean race so it was all good."

She moved to the area from California before her sophomore season and will continue her track career next year at New Mexico.

"It has been a really good three years," Bendle said. "I love the coaches and I love the team. It's been a really good experience for me. (Going to New Mexico) is scary but exciting. I'm excited for the training and I know I'm going to get stronger."

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