Photo by Casey Chancellor
To win on the track was hard enough for any of the young ladies who participated throughout the SPC, TAPPS, and UIL state meets. Asking them to win again, this time against all other state champs and some two time state champs is totally unfair....but we did it. This time it was all left up to a vote. All of the entrants in the poll were either SPC, TAPPS, or UIL state champs. The result of this competition was totally up to the family, teammates, and the running community.
Some of the top track performers in the state of Texas were included in the poll and all were state champions. Athletes like distance stars Julia Heymach and London Culbreath along with sprinters like Sha'Carri Richardson and Kaylor Harris littered the polls and garnered tons of votes. However, the most votes wend to Taylor High School's VIRGINIA KERLEY.
Kerley received 44,378 of the total 109,297 votes to account for a whopping 40.6% of the vote and the Texas A&M signee is your 2017 Texas track Athlete of the Year.
Photo by RoJo
Kerley is perhaps one of the best athletes in the state. She was definitely one of the busiest at the UIL 4A state track meet. Kerley participated and medaled in the long jump, triple jump, 100m, and the 400m and placed in all four events. In the long jump, she jumped a season's best (SB) at the state meet with a 19-5.25 jump that earned her second place and a silver medal. In the triple jump, Kerley not only saved her best for another SB jump, but she popped a super 39-4.75 personal record (PR) to take the third and the bronze.
When the time came for her to hit the track, you would think she would be tired after about 12 jumps on her legs. Kerley relied on her physical strength to get her to and through the toughest track competition she would see all season long. She ran another SB in the 100m with a 11.62 to improve her previous year's finish from third to second. Kerley also teamed with Taylor teammate Anna Cathryn Griffit, who competed in the long jump and the pole vault to earn 43 total points and third place in the team title chase.
All of that is great and are quite the accomplishments. However, the one to get her included in the poll was on her last and final event of her high school career. Kerley took to the track and jetted around the Mike A. Myers stadium track to win UIL 4A 400m title in a new PR of 54.38.
Kerley has been going to the state meet for four straight year and has competed in 5 separate individual events. Over that time she has earned 9 individual UIL state medals and one of them being a gold medal and that is what earned enough votes to be the 2017 track Athlete of the Year.