(Photo via St. Agnes Academy Twitter)
Houston t. Agnes poses after winning fourth straight TAPPS state track and field team title in 2019
The 2020 track and field season had a lot going for itself. There was a lot to look forward to this season and the excitement was there from the beginning and it kept building week after week.
Some of the things to look out for were in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) league. One of TAPPS story lines to look out for was with the Houston St. Agnes girls track and field team.
Coach Kristi Robbins' St. Agnes girls were on the hunt for their fifth consecutive team state title. Following the last year they finished runner-up in 2015, they won the four following year from 2016 - 2019, hungry to bring home another in 2020. Coach Robbins said, "We had a great shot to get number five in a row."
Now that we know that will not happen due to the suspended season, we will look at how possible a fifth title in 2020 would have been.
In the last four seasons, there were two things that has worked for St. Agnes -- talent and depth. Those are two qualities that make it easy for any team to win a title, but hard for teams to have. They've done it all across the track and in the field doing it with sprints, hurdles, distance, pole vaulter, jumpers, and throwers.
The 2020 season folding in the same manner. Although they lost one of the top distance runners in the nation in Camille Napier, that didn't discourage this team. Napier just finished second at the TAPPS cross country state championship in the Fall and helped lead St. Agnes to it's second straight championship in cross country qualified for the Foot Locker Nationals and finished 35th overall in the national event.
The St. Agnes girls were sill on fire. Even though it was in a small sample size this year, their gifts were evident. Their distance squad was still stacked; Amelie Born and Leah Klenke were a tough 1-2 punch who were destined to bring big points at the state meet with the two of them. The junior Born was eighth in the 800m and fourth in the 1600m as a sophomore at the TAPPS state meet and has already run faster this year than both of those state meet performances. All Klenke has done this year is dazzle. She leads the state TAPPS rankings in both events and ranks No. 9 in the 800 (2:14.45) and No.14 in the 1600m (5:03.63).
In the hurdles, Allie Scott and Melina Davis are two hurdle studs and more potential big point earners. They are ranked No.1 and No. 2 in the 100 hurdles and No. 2. and No. 5 in TAPPS rankings. The hurdle events have been good to St. Agnes in their winning seasons. Scott scored in both last year finishing 3rd (100H) and 2nd (300H) as a freshman last year.
The relays also looked good for Robbins' team. They were highly ranked in TAPPS in both the 4x100 and the 4x400 Relays. The 4x100 Relay has a No. 6 rank with it's (49.82) TAPPS and No. 3 rank (4:01.84) in the 4x400.
Despite how effective the track events were going to be for St. Agnes, the field is where they were going to dominate. It's possible they could seriously push for title No. 5 in the field event alone.
Mimi Mchugh - Pole Vault (13-0) - US No. 3 ranking
Emma De Los Santos - Pole Vault TAPPS No. 4 ranking
Faith Mitchell - Shot Put - TAPPS No. 1 and defending state champ
Jade Golding - Discus - TAPPS No. 2 ranking
Kathryn Leach - Long Jump Triple Jump
Crystal Ozigboh - Triple Jump
Amirah Chandler - High Jump - No. 2 TAPPS ranking
It has been an outstanding decade for St. Agnes and very successful the last four years. Unfortunately, they won't get the opportunity to reap the benefits of their hard work for this season. As a champion, you also want to the opportunity to live your season as the champion and have the right to either defend or be knocked off.
The St. Agnes girls won't get that deserved opportunity and other TAPPS 6A teams won't get the chance to take down a dominant team. This is definitely a nugget of track and field action we will miss at state this year.