Smithson Valley Wins First State Title

AUSTIN, TEXAS - The UIL 2A and 5A State meets were conducted on Friday at the University of Texas and for the second straight night a San Antonio area school won a State title as the Smithson Valley Lady Rangers took home the 5A Girls title, the first in school history.

Heading into the meet, it appeared that Smithson Valley would be in a dog fight with Lancaster, Mansfield Timberview and last year's State champ, Lucas Lovejoy. The star of the meet ended up being SV sophomore Alyssa Jones who was the meet's leading scorer with 28 points.

Jones got the Lady Rangers on the scoreboard in the long jump. She led the event through each of the first five jumps but was passed up on the last jump by Taylor Fingers of Mansfield Timberview. Nonetheless, Jones took the silver medal after a best mark of 19-3.5. SV picked up two more points in the field events when Ella Pickron was perfect in the pole vault through 12-0 and ended up in fifth place.

The Rangers finally hit the track in the 4x200m relay where they were co-favorites with Lancaster. The trio of Jacquelyn Rolle, Favour Uduji and Jatorie Mobley got the baton to Jones in contention. Jones was smooth through the first 100 meters and then unleashed an exceptional final kick where she blew by everyone and crossed the tape in 1:37.69 to give the team another 20 points.

In the event following the 800m relay, Jazmyn Singh recorded her third straight year of scoring in the 400m at the State meet. She held a lead midway through the race but could not hold her advantage and finished in fifth place in a time of 55.45. A little later, Jones put the Rangers in position for a team title when she blitzed past a strong field in the 200m for an individual gold medal. Her time of 23.59 was her best of the season.

Heading into the final event of the meet, the 4x400m relay, Smithson Valley trailed Lancaster by two points, and they led Lucas Lovejoy by 10 points meaning they just needed to beat Lancaster and finish at least to guarantee they stayed ahead of Lovejoy. Jones got the Rangers off to a good start by running a 58.01 on the opening leg and then Uduji followed with a 57.13 and Mia Perez added a 56.55 to put the Rangers slightly ahead of Lovejoy heading into the final leg. Singh took the handoff from Perez and left no doubt that it was going to be a Rangers victory as she closed with a 54.94 to give the team a gold medal in 3:46.82. It also clinched the team title for Smithson Valley. It seems hard to believe now, but the Rangers did not win the District 26-5A title this year even though they were Region and State champs.

There were a few other local athletes who scored in the 5A Girls meet. Boerne Champion finished in 14th place with 15 points. Freshman Elizabeth Leachman ran an amazing 1600m race against some of the top runners in the nation. She went out in 60 seconds and hit the 800m in 2:11 which would have put her in third place in the open 800m race. She continued on and never let anyone threaten her as she won in 4:47.28 which is the second fastest time by any female runner in any classification this year. Champion's 4x200m relay team of Madison Meinke, Vanesa Gonzalez, Erin Fallon and Mariela Gonzalez finished fifth in 1:38.95 and Mariela Gonzalez added a sixth-place finish in the 20m (24.62).

Seguin sophomore Daisha Shular capped off a great year with a runner-up finish in the 100m clocking a time of 11.64. Pieper's Caroline Peterson, the 4A State champion in the high jump last year, made a strong move to 5A and finished in a tie for second with a clearance of 5-6. Melody Espinoza of Brackenridge nabbed a sixth-place finish in the 3200m to open the meet running a time of 11:08.33.

In the 5A Boys meet there were not many points scored from San Antonio athletes. Alamo Heights tallied the most points thanks to Leo Bowen's runner-up finish in the pole vault and Joseph White's fifth place finish in the 1600m. Bowen cleared 15-6 while White ran a smart race and finished in 4:21.90. Smithson Valley's Freddie Dubose nabbed the bronze medal in the 400m thanks to a time of 48.68. Connor Warzecha of Boerne Champion garnered a fourth-place tally in the discus after a throw of 166-0.

There are only a limited number of 2A schools in the San Antonio area. Cayla Albers of Falls City had a great meet starting with a fifth-place performance in the discus (123-8) and capping it off with a State title in the shot put. She was in second place until her final throw when she unleashed a heave of 39-3.25 to move into first. In the 400m, it was Stockdale's Sydney Wyrwich taking the silver medal in 58.04.

In the 2A Boys meet, Stockdale scored in three different events. Taylor Warrick finished third in the 3200m with a time of 9:51.56, Julien Jaramillo cleared 6-2 for a sixth place in the high jump and Camden Derricoatte finished sixth in the 110m hurdles. Salvatore Lione of San Antonio Stacey took home a fourth place in the 1600m by running a time of 4:34.57. Finally, the Falls City 4x100m relay team of Christian Moy, Jacob Swierc, Kash Brown and Braylon Johnson ran a time of 43.07 to take sixth.