Flower Mound Girls Win UIL 6A Team Title Unconventionally

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Last year, we saw Humble Summer Creek win the UIL 6A boys state track and field team championship without taking advantage of the UIL double point relay scoring. They scored by winning the high jump, the discus, the 110 Hurdles, finishing second in the 800m, and second in the 4x400 relay.

The UIL Track and Field State Championships are often thought of as winnable if you have at least four sprinters who can score double points in the three relays.

One of the lowest percentage ways to capture the UIL team championship is to attempt to do so without the three sprint relays. That is exactly what Summer Creek did and the Lewisville Flower Mound girls followed them with a similar path this year.

The Flower Mound girls won the UIL 6A team title without scoring points from any of the three relays. In fact, they won in an even more unconventional way than any team has ever done.

The Lady Jaguars somehow flipped the script like no other track team. Instead of using speed as a strength and a dominating force at the state meet like most teams, they used endurance and their abilities in the distance races.

This past fall, Flower Mound won their second straight UIL 6A cross country state championship by placing their top five scoring runners in the top 20 places. That was domination and after this weekend, it's now clear how dominant that team actually was and still is. 

No cross country team has ever won a state track meet in Texas -- until now.

Instead of four sprinters and three relay events, they used three distance events and four cross country runners.

Natalie Cook won two events and broke two UIL state meet records

Photo Credit: Chance Kirby - MileSplit TX

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A sprint dominant state like Texas relies on speed and explosive events; it is usually over saturated with teams who have enough sprinters, jumpers, and throwers. There is also usually enough distance talent and parity to displace one team of distance runners to where no one team had been able to score or pull off what Flower Mound has throughout the qualifying rounds.

This squad, however proved how good they were. Not only cross country good, but good enough to win "The" state track and meet in all of Texas.

The plan was cemented back at the Region 1-6A Championships when they earned the two automatic qualifiers both the 1,600m and the 3,200m, but also got the wild cards from across the state in both events; and they qualified an 800m runner.

On Saturday, they executed an unbelievable feat by turning two distance events into double point events; that cancelled out Shadow Creek, the only team to score double relay points. Flower Mound swept the 1,600m and the 3,200m; Natalie Cook won the 3,200m in UIL record fashion with her 9:48.25 for the second fastest 3,200m in US high school history.

To add to the 10 points accumulated by Cook, Samantha Humphries finished second with her 10:23.68 and eight points, and Alexandra Fox was third in 10:36.48  for six points; they totalled 24 points.

That performance was duplicated in the 1,600m when Cook's 4:40.29 gave her another UIL state meet record and Flower Mound 10 additional points. Another runner-up performance by S. Humphries in 4:53.50 for eight more points and third for Nicole Humphries was six more points with a time of 4:53.59. Again, 24 points on the board for the Lady Jaguars.

That alone was enough to win the state title, but they continued to pour on the points. Not only did S. Humphries finish runner-up in the two long events, she also won the 800m state title in 2:07.68 to tack on 10 points to the team total and a personal contribution total of 26 points. 

Clearly, Flower Mound was deep in distance talent, but their track and field team throughout the season was strong. Riley Ward added 10 points to their point total by winning the high jump at 5-10 to ensure her team securely had the state title. Their 4x400 meter relay also finished seventh overall in the state with their 3:50.96 performance in Austin and Eva Vreeland eighth in the 300 meter hurdles as she ran 43.25.

Nicole and Samantha Humphries scored important point for Flower Mound's championship 

Photo Credit: Chance Kirby - MileSplit TX

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Aside from the state meet qualifiers, Flower Mound dominated the district and area championship rounds as they additionally qualified for regionals in the 100 hurdles, the 4x100 relay, and the 4x200 relay.

The Flower Mound girls were Texas' best cross country team and this weekend they proved they were also the best track and field team in the state. Unfortunately, there are often times separation between the two sports and teams from the same school.

However, Flower Mound head coach Andrew Cook isn't a coach who believes in running his program like that; he comes from a coaching tree that believed in being a complete team. Being coached and mentored by the late Coach Steve Telaneus who had several sayings and core values, Cook, the Flower Mound staff, and team displayed their culture throughout the season.

The Flower Mound coaching staff's attitudes were contagious and filtered through to their athletes who ran their hearts out -- they made history.