Written by Brandon George
Texas Relays: Ursuline sprinter has come a long way - fast
AUSTIN — Ursuline senior Stephanie Kalu is the defending TAPPS state champion in the 100 meters, but it is what she’s done since last year that’s been turning heads.
Kalu showed Saturday afternoon at the Texas Relays that she’s one of the most improved athletes in the state this year. Sparked by a great start, Kalu won the Division I 100 in a wind-aided 11.74 seconds at the University of Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium.
In Friday’s prelims, Kalu posted a wind-aided 11.56. The time was a personal best and moved her to fifth in the nation. She’s come a long way since her junior season, when her best time was 11.91.
“This is one of my favorite meets of the entire season, with the crowd and all the competition,” Kalu said. “I love going against public schools because it’s the best competition.”
Plano East junior Jennifer Madu made it a sweep for area schools, winning the Division II 100 in a wind-aided 11.69. Forney senior Kara Hyde won the Division II 100 hurdles in 14.13.
Many of the area’s top UIL runners stayed home because district meets begin early next week. But it was a big day for area small schools.
The Class 3A Kennedale girls and boys won the Division I 4x200 relay races. The Kennedale girls came back later to also win the 4x100 relay. Class 3A Roosevelt’s boys used a great anchor leg by senior Xavier Hicks to win the Division I 4x100 relay.
Celina’s Roos wins shot put: Five of the nation’s top eight high school boys shot putters competed in one of the top events of the weekend. In the end, Celina junior Jordan Roos stood alone.
After finishing a disappointing fourth in the discus Friday, Roos was determined to make a better showing. On his third attempt, his throw went 62 feet, 1/2 inch, and no one could catch him. Tyler Sergent of Norman (Okla.) North was second at 61-10¾.
Roos came in ranked second in the nation with a best throw of 64-1. He said he wanted to hit 65 feet, which would have given him the national lead, and he said his last throw probably did surpass that mark but he scratched.
Arlington Martin senior Brea Garrett easily won the girls shot put with a throw of 48-4½, second best in the nation this year. Her previous best mark was 47-7½. Garrett, the defending 5A state champion, took a nasty spill in the 100 hurdles prelims Friday.
Legacy’s Vaughan logs top discus throw: Mansfield Legacy junior Shelbi Vaughan didn’t allow suspense in the girls discus. Her first throw sailed 159-1, the best in the nation this year, to lock up the win.
Vaughan’s throw topped the previous nation’s best this year of 157-9 by Alexa Evans of West Hills, Calif.
Vaughan entered the weekend with the area’s second-best throw this year of 149-2, just behind Mesquite Poteet senior Kate Foster’s 149-6. Foster finished fifth Saturday with a best throw of 141-9.
Rockwall-Heath’s Richardson wins triple jump: Rockwall-Heath junior Brianna Richardson and Keller Fossil Ridge senior Adrina Davenport, two of the nation’s top triple jumpers, went head-to-head Saturday. Richardson came out on top with a best jump of 39-9¾ and Davenport finished second at 38-3½.
Richardson is tied for second in the nation this year with a jump of 41-2¾ and Davenport is fifth at 39-10½.
A&M sprinter sets mark: Texas A&M’s Gerald Phiri broke a 35-year-old meet record in the 100, blowing past the field to win in 10.06. Phiri beat the previous record of 10.07 set by Ed Preston of Arkansas State in 1976.