Northwest celebrated a phenomenal track season by sending eight competitors to the Class 5A state track and field meet last week in Austin.
The constant in the program was senior pole vault specialist Desiree Freier, who won her third consecutive state championship with an effort of 13-6. She cleared that in her first attempt but couldn’t manage in subsequent efforts to clear 14-0.
It turned out that had she gripped the right area of the pole, she probably would have given herself a better chance to clear it and beat her own state record of 13-9 that she set in 2013.
“I really wanted to break the state record and was really aiming for that,” Freier said. “So that was disappointing. But I still got the gold medal, and I will be proud of that.”
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Senior discus thrower Duke Kicinski appeared to be poised to win Northwest’s second state championship of the meet with an effort of 187-6. He set a personal record by six feet with that toss.
But out of nowhere, North Mesquite’s Aaron Akens came up with a 188-0 to capture the gold medal. Still, Kicinski came up with a silver medal and the satisfaction that he ended his high school career on a very high note. Kicinski will compete in track at West Texas A&M.
“We definitely knew he had that type of effort in him,” Northwest track coach Ellis Miller said. “Duke had beaten Akens at the Jesuit relays. It was just a great day to compete.”
In the 110 and 300 hurdles, Kerry Gleason came away with fifth-and-sixth place performance. But his 14.33 in the 110 was a personal record.
“I was very pleased for him, but I know he wanted to finish on the medal stand,” Miller said. “But the No. 1 objective is to run your best, and he did that.”
Meanwhile, senior Zach Kirkland placed eighth in the 1600 with a time of 14.23.62. While he came into the event with the second fastest time of any of the competitors (14:14), he just never could get into a groove and put himself in a position to challenge for the championship.
As for the boys 4x100 relay team, things just kept getting better and better. The 41.02 was good enough for fifth but it also set a school record. Miller said his quartet of sophomore Saveion James and seniors Chase Morrison, Reggie McDaniel and anchor Jordan Muldrow had a very clean race. In fact, this quartet shaved four-tenths off its time from the time it ran the District 4-5A race to the state meet performance. Klein Oak won with a time of 40.47.
“This will be the fastest team I ever coach,” Miller said. “They worked so very well together, it was fun to watch them.”
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Sophomore shot put artist Leilyn Miles finished third in the Class 4A state event with an effort of 42-6.50. Gregory-Portland Haley Teel won at 49.00 while Lancaster’s Jacquetta Cannon placed second at 43.01.5.
While her personal record is 44.6, Miles improved from her fifth place finish and throw of 41 feet at the 2013 state meet.
“She’s pretty competitive but she was a little nervous,” Nelson track coach Miranda Wilson said. “But she’ll get after it this summer and work on transitioning into a spin move. I know she wants to win state. She’s a pretty hard worker.”
Miles was Nelson’s lone representative.