Shadow Creek 4x200 relay poses at the 2022 UIL state meet
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With district championships going down this weekend, this is the beginning of the end of the UIL 2023 track and field season. Individual athletes and relays will begin to qualify for the next rounds with the ultimate goal being to end their season at the state meet with the hopes of winning a state title.
We want to take an early and fast forward look to the state meet. We have populated the UIL 6A girls state rankings to see which teams have chances to win the team title. Based on our rankings from results submitted we assigned a more traditional meet point system that is different than the UIL point system, but it shows which teams you'll want to keep an eye on and see how they maneuver through the qualifying rounds.
Our list has five teams within 10 points of one another.
Last year, Flower Mound made history and perhaps did something many thought not possible in Texas track and field with the way the events and scoring go. They won out the team title with distance runners and a high jumpers scoring all of their points and no sprint relays.
In our rankings, the Lady Jaguars are back and topping the top of the scores. They are again led by their cross country runners and top heavy distance base. After graduating a once in a lifetime type of talent (Natalie Cook), it's the Humphrey twins Samantha and Nicole looking to help lead the scoring load. Until later this week, we won't be sure if the Humphries duo will run the distance trifecta (800m, 1600m, and 3200m) or choose one or two of the three events like Samantha did last year.
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For conjecture, we'll take the events they rank in. Samantha is the top ranked miler in the state with Nicole and Alexandra Fox both ranked in the top 10. Nicole is ranked second in the 3200m and Fox is fourth in the state rankings. For extra info, Samantha is the defending UIL 6A state champion in the 800m and the twins both produced 2:08 and 2:10 splits in the 4x800 relay at Texas Relays.
Aside from the trio that went 1, 2, 3 at the state cross country championships, Flower Mound has another chance to add two points again for the second year in a row with reigning defending state champ Riley Ward. She leads the state with her 6-0 clearance.
Duncanville has the pieces to not only get on the podium, but to win it all. Perhaps Duncanville has a smooth path to Austin and have a chance to do their thing. Individually, they have a fantastic hurdle duo of Kennedy Brown and Indyia Walton who have the luxury of competing against one another in practice. They're the top two 100 meter hurdlers in Region 2-6A and come in No. 4 and No. 5 in the state with Walton also sitting in a good spot in the 300 meter hurdles.
Aaliyah Gipson is one of the top 100m sprinters in the state checking in at No. 6 for wind legal/FAT performances. Ashley Lister has the ability to make it to Austin and add quality points in the long jump. At 19-4.5, she has the fourth best wind legal jump in the state in 2023. Gibson and Lister would definitely bolster the Lady Panther's point total.
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Duncanville has the opportunity to score big in the relays. In the 4x100 relay, they are ranked No. 4 in the state and No. 2 in Region 2-6A, ranked second in the 4x200 with at top ranking in the region, and are third in the region in the 4x400 relay.
Speaking of relays, Shadow Creek is in the same boat as Duncanville. They have the possibility of getting 60 points from the relays alone as they are currently ranked No. 1 in Texas in all three spring relay events.
That is a tough stat to bank on, especially when it comes to exchanges and counting on four athletes three separate times. However, Shadow Creek has proven more than once they are composed and talented enough to do it. They won the 4x200 and 4x400 last year to tally 40 points, which was good enough for the second place trophy. Recently, they won all three relay events at the Texas Relays.
They could need some of the individual event help if they want to knock off Flower Mound and hold off Duncanville. Senior Sydney Bryant is ranked No. 7 in Texas in the 200m and second in Region 3-6A. Nia Parks, another senior is ranked No. 10 in Texas in the 400m and third in the region.
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DeSoto has been quietly making the transition from one head coach to another, but they have some girls who have the experience necessary to make a strong push for a state title.
Cydni Martin and Amelliah Birdow are hurdling well this year. Martin is right behind Duncanville's Brown and Walton in the 100 meter hurdles, but Birdow is third in the state and leads the path to Austin in Region 2-6A. Nasaya Williams has been solid in the 100m this year and the same could be said for Taryn Bailey in the 800m. Bailey has the second fastest time in the region in the 800m.
It would be a conversation about DeSoto if we didn't talk sprint relays and they are solid in all three this year. They are ranked third in the region in the 4x100 and the 4x200 relays and their 4x400 run at Texas Relays has them at the top spot in the region.
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Prosper has a shot at making noise and pushing for the podium as well. They'll definitely need help surviving the region, but there is a chance.
They have super sprinter Lauren Lewis leading the way this year as she is ranked No. 2 in the state in the 200m and No. 1 in the 400m. She is the reigning defending 400m state champ and will be extremely hard for anyone to beat. Fellow senior Shewaye Johnson is ranked 10th in the state in the 3200m and will have to battle the FloMo crew in the 3200m at regionals, but she definitely has the ability to make it happen.
The other possible state meet qualifiers and point scoring from Prosper comes from Kayla Watson in the long jump and the 4x400 relay. Watson is the fifth ranked long jumper in Texas and the second best in Region 1-6A and although she has to battle one of the the top jumpers in the country in her own district, she could have a fairly decent path other than that.
The Prosper 4x400 will need to battle. They made the finals at Texas Relays and got a 51.x lead off split from Lewis, but they are ranked No. 5 in the state and have the fastest time in the region.