Victoria Johnson’s day at the finals of the Class 4A Region II track and field meet at Maverick Stadium in Arlington didn’t get off to the start she wanted, but she made amends .
The Mansfield Legacy senior expected to be a state qualifier in long jump, but she managed only fourth place Saturday morning with a jump of 17-41/2, not good enough to secure a trip to Austin for the state meet.
“She kind of had a tough morning with the long jump,” girls track coach Lacy Beckler said. “We talked to her for a long time just about turning that into something in the afternoon.”
Johnson did that by booking a place in Austin with a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 14.13 seconds.
“It was my best, it was a personal record, so that’s always good,” she said. “I wish I’d won the race, but I’m very excited about advancing to state because this is my first year to run the 100 hurdles, so I think I’ve made a lot of improvement.”
Johnson has experience in the 300 hurdles, and she had another opportunity to qualify for the state meet in that event.
She finished third, which means she’s a potential wild-card qualifier. If her time is better than the third-place times from the other three regional meets, she’ll be invited to Austin in the event.
“She had a big PR in the 300 hurdles and a big PR in the 100 hurdles, so I’m super impressed with her,” Beckler said. “We knew last year that she was extremely talented, she’s a very natural hurdler. She’s worked her butt off, so she’s deserving.”
Legacy’s Garrett Moore knew he’d face tougher competition than he’d seen all year on Saturday, so he brought his best to the meet.
The 300 hurdler posted the top time in Friday’s preliminaries at 39.10, and then ran a 38.00 in the finals, good enough for second place and a berth in the UIL state meet.
“It was a pretty good race, but there are still a few things I can improve on,” he said. “I’ve figured out what I need to do to get better, so I’m ready for state.”
Moore’s time was only 0.12 seconds behind Lancaster’s Lafiel Smith’s winning time of 37.88, which is the top time in the state this year.
Legacy’s impressive day continued with Brianna Stone’s performance in the 400. After posting the top preliminary time, she ran second in the finals to secure a place in Austin.
Coming into the final turn she was running fifth, but managed to gain ground over the last 100 meters.
“I feel like I could have got out faster,” she said, “but I’ve been injured for the last several months, so I still proud of what I did.”
“She really pursued the last 30 meters of that race,” Beckler said. “Her persistence to the finish line, she just pursued, pursued, pursued and that helped her earn her spot. She’s always been a tough runner, but today I think it really showed how tough she is.”
Legacy’s Jeff Weisheit was also a third-place finisher and must wait for the results of the other three regional meets before knowing if he’ll be competing in Austin The miler ran a 4:23.07, a personal best by almost five seconds.
“It sucks [to have to wait], but it’s also a good thing, he said, figuring “ if you do make it, the fire that lights inside you is pretty cool.”
Mansfield Summit’s Briona Oliver missed her chance to compete in Austin the 100, finishing fourth, but she secured a place as the regional long jump champion. Oliver bested the field with a leap of 18 feet, 4 inches.
The Arlington Seguin 4x100 relay team is a wild-card candidate after a third-place finish, and the Mansfield Legacy 4x400 relay team also finished third and will wait for other results from around the state.
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