Meet Recap: TAPPS Track And Field State Meet

Aliyah Johnson competes in the long jump at the 2023 TAPPS Track and Field State Meet

Photo Credit (all photos): Stuart Kantor

{The More Things Change...}

For two days in Waco, the weather stayed clear and the action on the track and the field were everything worthy of State Championship expectations.

While several athletes repeated their state championship gold-medal performances from last season (and even the 2021 season), one athlete, in particular, stands out: Plano John Paul II's Samantha Ennin. The sophomore sensation became the first girl in TAPPS State T&F Championship history to soar over 20' in the long jump (20-01.00) and over 40' in the triple jump (40-10.75), and she accomplished this feat about an hour apart. 

Three young ladies tallied 40+ points: Bayleigh Minor (Fort Bend Christian Academy) collected four golds and one bronze to earn 41 points while setting three class 5A records, and Fredericksburg Heritage's Elaina Craven scored 41 points: 3 golds (including the 4x400) and two silver. Fort Worth Southwest Christian's Aliyah Johnson scored 40 with 2 golds and 3 silvers (4x100 relay).

Bayleigh Minor

The top three point scorers among the boys are: Rosehill Christian's Anthony Wilder, who racked up 37 points with 2 golds, 2 silvers, and 1 4th-place finish. Esteban De Leon (Ovilla Christian) and Edward Bocock (Houston St. Thomas) each scored 36 points

On the flipside, an injury to Rosehill Christian's Mercy Freeman on her first triple jump kept her out of competition. Last year, Freeman won five gold medals, and this year, she aimed to repeat that effort. 

1A Boys

Elijah Buris' 35 points paced Brazosport Christian to the team title, 58 points ahead of their second-place competition. Buris won three golds (long jump, triple jump, 4x100), 1 silver (4x200) and 1 bronze (100.) Hayden Turner (Texoma Christian; 32 points) and Bridger Welch (Fredericksburg Heritage; 28.5 points) also had outstanding weekends. 

1A Girls

Fredericksburg Heritage's back-to-back team titles come courtesy of 73 points from Elaina Craven (41) and Ellie Shipman (32.) Craven entered the 2023 campaign with 5 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes already to her credit; she adds 3 more golds and 2 more silvers. Shipman, who also owned 5 golds prior to this past weekend, added 4 more and 1 silver in the pole vault.

The Salas Streak continues. 

Lesli Salas and younger brother David Salas have now collected 13 individual gold medals between them. Lesli has swept the 800, 1600 and 3200 for three consecutive seasons, and David has swept the 1600 and 3200 for two straight seasons. Lesli also set two Class A records: 5:10.41 1600 and 11:13.41 in the 3200.

Lesli Salas