The only running event today was the 3200. The 1A boys saw a three way tangle with 1A's top runners JAKE MERRELL, AUSTIN ZIRKEL, and DUSTIN DOMINEY as these gentlemen put on a show. Merrell eventually ended up taking the lead near the mile and didn't look back. Zirkel and Dominey weren't going to just lay down, these guys all went under 10:00. Merrell gets the win and sets a new 1A UIL record with his 9:38.23. Zirkel also dipped under the former record with his 9:45.75. This is just the first episode of the weekend for these guys as they will tangle two more times.
So, day one at the UIL state meet consisted of only 1A and 5A field events and 3200m runs. Although there were just two classes competing and only a few events contested, there was no shortage of excitement and big time performances.
In the girl's 5A 3200m, we saw yet another record. This time, it was an all classes UIL state record. McKinney North freshman LONDON CULBREATH came out and took off as soon as the gun sounded. Culbreath said, "I just felt good and kept going and didn't want to stop." In just her first state meet race on the track, Culbreath set the bar high for herself as well as the rest of the 5A competitors. She also got 10 big points for her McKinney North team. The same McKinney North squad that won the 5A state title last season prior to her arrival, will be looking to do it again with their amazing amount of returning talent and the Culbreath addition. This will lead to a big time 5A girls team battle tomorrow. Culbreath's 10:13.28 not only has her #1 all time UIL, it's also currently #7 in the nation.
WAIT!!!!! The record breaking evening was not over yet. Mansfield Lake Ridge sophomore and national leader JASMINE MOORE decided to get in on the act. Defending state champ Moore took advantage of the awesome Texas evening and popped a 5A state record 43-4.75, which is five inches better than her previous national leading jump. Lake Ridge also got big team points from their senior VALENCIA BULLOCK. Bullock takes second in the same triple jump competition and PRs with a 40-6.5 to total 18 huge team point for Lake Ridge. Also getting big points for Lake Ridge was junior FAITH ETTE. Ette won the 5A girls shot put with a 44-6.5. Also with a big time triple jump was El Paso senior ARIELLE MACK, who also gets in the 40s with her 40-0.25 third place jump, giving her some momentum going into the long jump.
When you talk triple jump in Texas, you've gotta include Mr. Jumpman himself JALEN SEALS. Seals finally adds the 5A triple jump title to his long list of accomplishments. He hops out to a 50-2 winning jump to set himself up for tomorrow's long jump competition.
The 5A boys pole vault wasn't without drama. The defending State Champ PEYTON WEISSMANN was coming off of a 17-4 personal best vault and TX #1, at the regional competition. Weissmann was looking to sky to higher heights as well as put on a show for the spectators. Instead of the show, he had everyone on the edge of their seats for a different reason. Weissmann entered the competition at 16-0 saying, "That's a comfortable height for me to enter at." He missed his first two attempts at the opening height and was in jeopardy of no heighting and ending his last state competition early. It still ended early as he cleared it on his last attempt, but didn't go any higher. It doesn't matter, as it was enough for him to get the victory and go out as the two time 5A pole vault champ.