Written by SportsDayDFW.com
TAPPS state track meet: Fort Worth Nolan girls have record day to win 5A crown
WACO — The team race in the TAPPS state track meet looked more like that of a Metroplex Invitational in the Class 5A girls ranks Saturday.
The top four schools all came from the Dallas area, with Fort Worth Nolan using three meet records to score 117 points and outdistance Bishop Lynch (102), Ursuline (93) and Bishop Dunne (81) for their second team championship in three years at Baylor’s Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex.
“It was really a whole team effort,” Nolan coach Marcelo Hernandez said. “Everybody scored in their respective events. We had to come back, and they just did really well about staying focused and finishing up their races. It was an overall team effort, and it was exciting.”
The Lady Vikings, who trailed Bishop Lynch by five points with four events remaining, emphatically closed out the meet by becoming the first TAPPS 5A school to finish the 4x400-meter relay in less than four minutes.
The quartet of Megan Uriegas-Stevens, Gabrielle Puente, Gwenyth Puente and Elizabeth Havenhill cruised across the line in 3 minutes, 56.32 seconds to best the old standard of 4:00.97, which was set by San Antonio Antonian in 1999. Bishop Lynch also broke the former state mark but had to settle for second in 3:59.
“We knew if everybody ran well going into the mile relay, that if we could put them all together, we could do it,” Hernandez said. “We scattered a little bit throughout the year, but this time, everybody clicked. They ran well, and they finished, and they were able to get under four minutes in the mile.”
Havenhill won gold in three events, and her time of 2:14.49 in the 800-meter run broke her own mark of 2:16.31 set two years ago, and she also claimed the open 400 in 58.47. Chelsea Classo was Nolan’s other record-breaker with a 15.10 in the 100 hurdles to break the mark set in 2002 by Bishop Lynch’s Katrina Couch.
While the top four girls teams battled it out, the Argyle Liberty Christian boys couldn’t see anyone in their rearview mirror. The Warriors scored 130 points to grab their fifth straight state title.
Another record for Canterbury: DeSoto Canterbury’s girls didn’t have a perfect run in the 4x200 relay, but it didn’t matter.
Jaida Lemmons, Timon Brown, Kristen Williams and Ronise Miller ran a 1:46.39 to lower Canterbury’s state record from last year of 1:48.07 by nearly two seconds.
The time could have been even lower, but the lead runner on the first exchange had to slow nearly to a standstill to get the baton. It was smooth sailing after that, and that victory helped Canterbury pull in the 2A team crown.
Photo finish: The closest race of the day was the 5A boys 100.
Three area runners hit the tape in a photo finish, with two-hundredths of a second separating all of them.
When it was all sorted out, TCA-Addison’s Parker Oliver was the winner in 11.29. Bishop Dunne’s Kwatavious Jones was second in 11.30, with Plano Prestonwood’s Cody Cunningham posting an 11.31 for third.