The 2015 season was the last time a girls team other than DeSoto won the UIL 6A state meet team title. That year, Converse Judson trailed DeSoto by 8 points heading into the final event, an event that DeSoto has been historically strong in. Judson had a good team with the state champion on anchor and this was one of the few years DeSoto didn't qualify a 4x400 relay for the state meet. Judson won the 4x400 and earned 20 points making it a 60-48 final score.
Since then, DeSoto has been unstoppable and they have taken several shots at the 4x400 relay state record since that day three plus years ago.
This year is no different. They have a strong team, a very strong team and their 4x400 relay -- well, they just might take another shot at a state record as well as a national record.
Can anyone stop them from winning a fourth UIL 6A state championship?
It looks like the teams with the best shot are The Woodlands Lady Highlanders and the Katy Cinco Ranch Cougars.
The UIL 6A teams scores (Above link) show that DeSoto has the capability to score 100 points. It also shows that The Woodlands, Katy Cinco Ranch, and Marcus are the next three schools in terms of potential points.
The Woodland's Chances
The Woodlands has just as many qualifers to their area meet as DeSoto has and as many relays. The Lady Highlanders is about as complete of a squad in the state other than DeSoto and maybe even more so. They have big hit performers in Caroline Morris, Nya Harmon, and Katie Schlather who all qualified for the state meet last year. Add super star Alexandra Webster and possible state meet scorers looks even brighter.
Morris has added a different event with the 800m this year opposed to the 400m, but she has been consistent this season. The area and region II meets will be tough to qualify out of, but she navigated the tough road last year in the 400m and could handle things again this season. Harmon medaled last season in both throw events and it would be crucial for her to score as many or more points this year for the upset.
The two keys to things will be Schlather and Webster. The pole vault is often like a crap shoot. A not so good performance day in Texas can easily have a pole vaulter on the outside looking in. Schlather withstood things as a freshman last year and that experience could prove big for this year's stretch run. Big points from Schlather will be necessary if The Woodland's has hope for the win. Webster could be the best point possiblity for The Woodlands. However, she is in two of the events that DeSoto is strong in. DeSoto has an excellent crew of 100H and 300H girls including two of the fastest girls in the nation in the 100H with Jalaysi'ya Smith and Jayla Hollis. Smith is another tough out in the 300H and teammate Taylor Armstrong could be the fastest 300H hurdler in the state when it comes to 200m/400m abilities, which makes her dangerous.
Webster is a beast and a big time competitor, so she definitely can't be counted out. If things go realistically perfect for TWHS, they could have a high score of 70 points.
Katy Cinco Ranch's Chances
Cinco Ranch is challenging, but they have just as many challenges when it comes to trying to win a state title. Their quality is as good as any, but it's their quantity that makes thinking about a state title a tough accomplishment.
The Cougars don't have any relays that advanced to area, so that'll possibly put them behind the curve with The Woodlands and most certainly behind DeSoto. They do take seven area qualifiers who'll attempt to advance to regionals.
They'll have three probable and almost certain state meet qualifiers with Heidi Nielson, Sophie Atkinson, and Amelia Flynt. Nielson should repeat last year's double medal performance in the 1600m and 3200M as should Flynt.
She returned from Denmark running in the U20 World XC Championships just in time for district. Her legs will be back and rested as well as she will probably receive some speed work to go with her endurance and base training by time state rolls around. Nielson is currently ranked #1 (1600m) and #2 (3200m), in the state.
Flynt was second at state in the discus last year. She is hoping to find her groove during this championship run. If she gets back to the state meet and in both events, she has the talent and ability to score big points.
Due to injury last year, Atkinson had to shut things down and didn't get a chance to qualify for state. This year has been completely different. She has run her way neat the top of the rankings in the 800m, 1600m, and the 3200m. She hasn't really incorporated the 3200m much this season, but at Texas Relays and district she did and oh boy were they big races. She dropped sub 11s in both including her TX #6 10:30.96 at Texas Relays. She has been excellent all season long in the 800m and 1600m and could possibly be a major point scorer in all three at the state meet.
Munoz is having a good season in the high jump and is currently tied for #2 in the state. Eight to ten points from her would be a perfect addition and bump to Cinco Ranch's possibilities. If things go in a realistically perfect way, Cinco could score 78 points.
The Lady Eagles will take several opportunities into this week's area meet. They should experience very few hiccups en route to regionals.
Post regionals is when we'll really have an idea of how potent they'll be as well as how many realistic opportunities The Woodlands, Cinco Ranch, Marcus, or even anyone else has a chance to keep DeSoto from making it four consecutive UIL 6A team championships.
The question was if TWHS or Cinco could knock off DeSoto and end their three year streak. With things going perfect for both squads and having a little luck, they both can score between 70 - 80 points. That is a lot of points at a state meet, but how many will it take to beat DeSoto this year?
Let's look at it.
First, it musth be mentioned that not a single girl on the DeSoto roster who has run more than year for coach Villers and her staff knows anything other than winning. The seniors are shooting for their fourth straight state championship.
In fact, the majority of their girls who will qualify for state especially individually have all run at the state meet before and have all medaled (Most of them individually and on relays).
|Rosaline Effiong||200||Lawryn Noel||100/200||Heidi Nielson||1600/3200||Taryn Hawkins||100/200/LJ|
|Jayla Hollis||100H/200||Sophie Atkinson||800/1600/3200||Allison Warren||100/200|
|Jalaysi'ya Smith||100H/300H||Caroline Morris||800||Yasmin Steele||200/400||Kayleigh Ross||200|
|Laureen Perry||100H||Allison Sharer||800||Amelia Flynt||SP/D||Kendall Angonia||400|
|Ja'Era Griffin||100||Ilona Mononen||1600/3200||Daniella Munoz||HJ||Austin Owen||3200|
|Mia Abraham||100||Alexandra Webster||100H/300H||Michelle Graham||LJ/TJ||Maddie Meiner||100H/300H/HJ/D|
|Bryannia Murphy||400||Kennedy Doakes||HJ||Madison White||PV||Kim Ume-Ezeoke||100H/300H|
|Cierra Wash||400||Ginni Okafor||LJ/TJ||Anna Jackson||HJ|
|Zariah Jones||400||Teah Knorr||HJ||Lorielle Daniel||LJ/LJ|
|Taylor Armstrong||300H||Emma Finnie||TJ||Tatum Green||TJ|
|Heavan Kennedy||300H||Morgan Woodson||TJ||Mackenzie Hayward||PV|
|Rachel Anderson||800||Katie Schlather||PV||Autumn Dodson||SP|
|Caitlin Shaw||800||Nya Harmon||SP/D||4x100 Relay|
|4x100 Relay||4x100 Relay||4x200 Relay|
|4x200 Relay||4x200 Relay|
|4x400 Relay||4x400 Relay|
Area meet qualifiers for the top four UIL 6A teams in the team scores
Judging by the rankings and the area meet qualifiers, the Lady Eagles could have two girls qualify for state in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 100H, 300H. If things go well, it could be even more in the 100H and 400m and they have two good possibilities in the 800m.
Based on our UIL 6A Team Scores, DeSoto's margin is just a little over 60 points. However, that is with single digit scoring for the relays. The UIL format gives double points for the relays and DeSoto is currently ranked #1 in the state in all three relays, which would add 30 plus points onto their score.
Even if DeSoto has a bad day, bad luck, and no favor from up above, they should at least score 10 points in each individual event that they'll likely have two qualifiers in. That would give them 50 points and leave them just 20 - 30 behind if TWHS and/or Cinco were to have a perfect meet. Anything can go wrong in relays, but with the double point scoring, there is so much that could still give DeSoto another title with things going completely haywire next month or before.
Someone other than the DeSoto girls could earn a UIL 6A team title in May, but it would take a lot of things to go wrong for the Eagles and a lot of right for someone else. Even, if it comes down to the last race and 12 or less points, like it did four years ago.
It doesn't look likely or easy for this year, however, if anyone can do it, it would likely be TWHS or Cinco. Stay tuned!