Wright qualifies for State in pole vault, sets personal best

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By Lance Catchings

Four athletes from the Liberty Hill girls’ track team competed at the regional track meet over the weekend, held at Javelina Stadium at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and Head Coach Gretchen Peterson said it was a great experience for the athletes that participated from Liberty Hill.

“It was a new experience for our youngsters, but they went out and competed hard,” Peterson said. “The expectation is you should go out and do your best and learn and soak up as much as you can. Track is about mental toughness and confidence, and I felt all three of our girls who competed but did not advance to state learned so much being in that atmosphere. All in all, it was a great meet for those three.”

Sophomore Delaney Foster competed in the 200-meter dash. Junior Lindsee Miller finished seventh in the 400-meter dash in a time of 62.63. Freshman Kenzie Wise finished ninth in the high jump, clearing 4’10. Junior Brooke Wright finished second in pole vault and earned a berth to the State Meet in the event, clearing 11’6”.

Wright was the lone Lady Panther to advance as she set a personal record in the pole vault after a relatively disappointing performance at the area meet.

“She vaulted the lowest height she had vaulted at the area meet, and going into the regional meet, she had some big expectations for herself,” Peterson said. “She came in confident at 10’0” and was a driven, motivated young lady. I am so proud of her and her family, because they practice and work together, and it is a family thing for them. For Brooke to come back and prove to herself she could qualify for State and set a personal record and school record is great for her.”

All the girls worked hard in preparation for the meet, and Peterson said that is something they can take with them into next season.

“I think we learned a lot about preparation going through the district and area meets,” she said. “To see how the level of competition changes is a great learning experience for all of them. They have come a long way, and I think it will make them hungrier in the long run. It is a great eye opener when you get to the regional meet.”

As track season wraps up for the rest of the team, Peterson said there is a lot to build on after winning the district.

“I am really proud of our track program this year,” she said. “We won district, and that was a goal that we set early in the beginning of January. It took huge contributions from every girl in our program, from junior varsity on up to the varsity. Our girls bought in and we had a ton of young kids that qualified for the area meet that are at the cusp of making some breakthroughs. There are some kids that were injured that we hope to have back next year. I can’t brag enough about how hard our kids worked this year, and it is great to have kids that want to grow and continue to get better.”

For Wright, the track season will continue as she preps for the State Track Meet as the only Lady Panther to qualify.

“I think Brooke has always known that she was a little better than what she was currently doing,” Peterson said. “I think that is some of the expectation she put on herself, and pole vault is a sport that has a lot of moving parts. To see her have that moment on Friday morning and being able to bask in that was awesome. You got to see her have the moment where she knew she could do it, and she did. When an athlete has that happen… going into State with confidence will be big for her. I know she will go in with the right mindset and she will be happy no matter the outcome.”

The State Track Meet will be held in Austin at the University of Texas May 10-11.

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