UIL 3A Girls And Boys State Meet Preview

Coy Clish (West) and Chard Hayes (Boling) race it out for the state meet



For more content ahead of the Texas Outdoor State Championships

Conference 3A is looking to be a master class this year at the State Championships in Mike A Myers.

Don't be fooled, just because it is a smaller division doesn't mean it can't pack a punch in talent. Many of not only the states best but nations best are a part of this conference.

In my opinion what makes 3A king is that a good portion of these athletes double or even triple events on the track. That shows the diversity of skill-set and the grit that these ladies and gentlemen have for the oval and field events. 

All of the events are must see events but we will highlight most anticipated events.

3A Girls

Goliad is definitely going to be the team to beat in the relays this year. They are currently seeded 1st in the 4X100 with a 47.05, 2nd in the 4X200 with a 1:43.24 and 1st in the 4x400 with a 3:53.27. 

Kyla Hill (Goliad) and a couple of other ladies in individual contributors could add some more point to their team score if they have a great day. With that being said, if they can lock up those placements in the relays plus some open race scores, it will be very difficult for them to walk out of state without being the class 3A girls champs.

The one team who can stop Goliad will be the defending back-to-back state championship Universal City Randolph. Despite not being as deep as we've seen them in years past, Randolph still has two of the best girls in several events. 

Taylor Nunez will individually dazzle as usual in the 100m, 200m, and long jump. Look for Sophia Bendet to score big in the 800m and 1600m, and Aubrey Milam is also capable of adding a handful of points.

Randolph is seeded 2nd in the 4X100 with a 47.50 and 2nd in the 4X400 with a 3:55.19. Historically the Randolph girls have been pretty dominant in the relays with last year with one gold medal and two bronze.

We will see if history repeats itself this weekend

The 100H is looking to be an extremely fun race to watch between Abby Elmore (Gunter) and Yierra Flemings (Cameron Yoe). Flemings enters with a PR of 13.92 and Elmore having a PR of 14.18, these ladies are both truly elite. Flemings will be attempting to repeat gold while Elmore will challenge her for it.

Related: Yierra Flemings and Abby Gilmore Are Elite

In the 300H, teammates Kyla Hill (Goliad) and Ashley Wood (Goliad) will be attempting to repeat their podium placements as they went first in 42.75 and third in 44.18 at the 2023 UIL State Championships. 

Yierra Flemings hurdled to a Region 3-3A title

Gwyn Burnett (Llano) currently is seeded 1st going into the contest running 43.86 at regionals. She is looking to improve on her 6th place finish from last year. 

Abby Elmore (Gunter) is also looking to be a force in the contest. Getting a silver medal in this event last year, she seems to be a contender in every event she is on the heat sheet for

Looking at the entries Yierra Flemings (Cameron Yoe) is looking to be back on the throne in the 400m with her 54.41 giving her the win last year. There is a good chance that she might need to run faster this year to get the win.

Makki Hart (Shallowater) currently is the top seed going into state with her PR set at regionals. She went sub 55 and ran 54.81. If Hart could repeat this race and improve, she could give Flemings a run for her money. Landing a silver medal last year, she is eyeing a gold medal this year.

In the 3200 there are three girls who have run sub 11 throughout the season. Last year 11:14 won the 3A Girls 3200, I have a feeling it will be much faster if weather allows it.

Addison Hite (Pilot Point) had a solid day at regionals posting a 10:53.30 which is just 2 seconds shy of her current PR. Trying to repeat as the 3200 champion she will have her work cut out for her.

Brooklyn Albert (Poth) Is one of these ladies who have gone sub 11 this season. She could give her a run for her money running 10:52.93 at TDF for a PR.

Cara Sims (Elysian Fields) went 10:55 at Texas Relays and should be a medalist in the 3200 if not putting up a fight for the win...

I simply cannot leave out Simone Moura (Holliday) based on her progression this season. Starting the season off running 11:50 3200 PR, she has dropped that all the way to 11:10 at the regional meet. Based off of Holliday's distance success and her dropped time, she is red hot going into the state meet.

Abby Elmore hurdles to a Region win

The girls long jump is an event that will require a tip top day for one of the ladies to get the win. Nunez won last year's event with a 20-2.50 UIL 3A meet record. She'll have a good shot to do so again and has the second best regional jump with a 19-5.25.

The top seed comes from Mary Johnson (Tidehaven) and her 19-5.75, but she and Nunez aren't alone. Jayana Phillips (Yoakum) and last year's runner-up Yierra Flemings (Cameron Yoe) and her 19-2.25 seed from regionals.

Phillips and sophomore teammate Jayla Hessler (Yoakum) have the best 1-2 regional marks. Phillips jumped 40-3.75 with Hessler runner-up in 39-4.25.

The girls throws are interesting this year. 

Defending champion Taylor Wiseman (Childress) comes in from West Texas with the top discus toss of 147-03 from the regional rounds. Last year's runner-up Olivia Hildebrand (Whitesboro) comes from the opposite end of the state for another clash for the state title.

The girls shot put is a bit of a conundrum as none of the top three entrants from the region rounds were even at the state meet last year and two of them have better throws than last year's state meet 40-8 winning throw.

Bree Lewis (Coahoma) threw 41-1.75 at regionals, Jamie Vassar (Early) threw 40-9.50 and Landrie Valenzuela (Jacksboro) was just short of last year's winning throw with her 40-5.50.

Abby Elmore was the state champ last year and had the seventh best incoming toss with Jaycee Green (Whitney) who finished fifth last year throwing the eighth best regional toss. The 2023 runner-up Wiseman isn't a shot put qualifier.

Ray Ochoa runs to a Region 3-3A 400m win

3A Boys

As with the girls, there are some outstanding individual 3A athletes on the boys side.

The favorite going into the 800m race is Noah Strohman with his 1:53.89 from Jesuit-Sheaner Relays just two months ago. However, in the 800m anything can happen. With Strohman running the 3200, this will make it a challenge to win against those with fresh legs?

If so, then this race is wide open. There are four gentlemen seeded 1:55 from regionals. With that being said, that should make this contest one to keep your eyes on with Hayden Long (Ponder) 1:55.15, Ethan Johnston (Pottsboro) 1:55.16, Noah Strohman (Holliday) 1:55.27, Jimenez Dakota (Quitman) 1:55.98 ready to rock and roll.

In the 110H Hunter Vaughn (Pattonville Prairiland) is the top returner from 2023 and seeded first coming from regionals. Ending with 14.29 and silver last year, Vaughn is looking for his gold medal this time around. He also returns as the top returner in the 300H, seeded second on the heat sheet list with a 37.98

With a bunch of postseason experience I feel that this senior is ready for whoever stands in his way.

In the 300H Dylan Foster (Brock) is currently the top seed from regionals. Foster placed 5th in 2022 with a 39.58. He has improved tremendously since then running 37.90 at regionals this year and is looking at a comeback.

Noah Strohman (Holliday) again is a race favorite in the 1600m and 3200m races. She proved to us all by running 9:02 in the 3200m in January and then running 4:06 in the 1600m at TDF. He is in a prime position to get the triple crown at Mike A Myers as he is hoping to repeat in the 32/16 and hoping to add the 800 gold medal to the collection.

The fight for the silver medals in these events will be one to watch.

Chris Kopecky (East Bernard) goes into state with a PR in the 3200 of 9:30.35 putting him ranked 2nd. His 1600 he ran last week was just 1 second off of his PR running 4:24.07. This ranks him 3rd going into the 1600 at state.

Carlos Jose Cortez (Troy) ranks 3rd in the 3200 with a PR 9:33.57 and also grabs the 1600 wildcard with his 4:27.49 PR

Benjamin Castro (McGregor) ran a 4:21.02 1600 he ran at his district meet which he ran with Troy's tough distance crew. Given ample competition he should be able to compete at that level again for a medal.

East Bernard's Chris Kopecky wins the Region 3-3A 1600m

The boys 400m will be a tasty race to watch. There are three of the top four runners who are back with Jackson Aydelott (Vernon) who took silver and Daniel Sianez (Muleshoe) who took the bronze medal both looking for repeat podium performances.

Aydelott ran a regional best 47.45 and Sianez ran 47.85 to set off this showdown. However, not to be overlooked are the fourth place finisher from last year Ray Ochoa (Clifton) who won Region 3-3A in 48.74. Also not to be overlooked is the teammate of last year's state champion Lucas Rizo from Crane, Jeysen Alvarez who ran 48.32.

One of the fan favorite field events will be pretty stacked this year with everyone close in seeding. I am going to recognize two gentlemen who are taking a trip back to state from last year.

Cayden Tatum (Brock) jumped for 6-06.00 at regionals and is seeded 1st going into the contest. He jumped for nearly the same last year which was good enough for a 4th place finish. With the gold medalist being a senior last year, this is his chance to go for gold.

The top returner for last year was Lewis Petty (Warren) who jumped for a bronze medal, he his seeded 2nd from his performance at regionals being 6-05.00. With this being his last chance at state surely he's got his eyes on the gold.

In the throws, the discus is the competition to watch as three boys come in with regional throws over 170 feet.

Reigning and defending state champ Caden Reagan (Goliad) is back to repeat and he looks to be in good position. He has the top region throw with a 177-10 that narrowly bests a 177-9 region best from Klein Essler (Henrietta).

Reggie Johnson (Blanco) was runner-up last year and he has the third best regional throw at 174-10 and the fifth place finisher from last year Easton Hatleberg (Grandview) threw 167-9 to make this an even more competitive event.