Hayden Deaton and Haleigh Risner have earned berths in the UIL Class 3A State Meet set for Thursday, May 12, at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.
The pair advanced out of the Region 2 meet held April 29-30 at Whitehouse. The top two competitors in each event out of each of the four regions are guaranteed a state berth.
Deaton makes a return trip to Austin. The junior finished second in high jump with a qualifying height of 6 feet, 4 inches at the Region 2 meet. He had posted a personal best 6-05 at area. Deaton also competed in the triple jump; he finished ninth with a leap of 42-06.50.
“He has the hard work and determination of wanting to get better each and every day. We are staying relaxed and trusting the process with his ability to jump,” said coach Kaitlin Sharp.
“He has the natural ability to be successful, but we have been tweaking little things that can accelerate that and be more consistent in his jumps.”
A Woodville high jumper out of Region 3 reached 6-10. The next three state qualifiers reached 6-5 and the following four posted jumps of 6-04.
Risner shaved 12 seconds off her previous personal record to turn in an 11:48.94 in the 3200-meter run. The senior crossed the finish line in third place, but she had the next best time not in the top two for any region and captured that final slot for state. Risner placed fifth in the 1600 (5:34.55).
The top time turned in for girls 3200 statewide was an 11:09 posted by Hannah Spears of Region 1, Holliday. Tania Ramirez out of Region 2 had the second best time at 11:37. The next two posted times were 11:43. Risner turned in the sixth best 3200 time run in any regional meet last week.
David Soto placed fourth in the 3200 (9:57.42) and fifth in the 1600 (4:31.10). The junior set personal records in both events. Soto’s time in the 3200 placed him among the top seven times posted statewide; his 1600 time was in the top eight statewide.
Coaches work with athletes to determine what the athlete is capable of doing while guiding the athlete toward optimal performance.
Regarding the distance runners, coach Joe Hallonquist said, “They train each week on a certain pace, their goal pace for that week. Coming into a meet like this, you have that pace, but also you have to do what you have to do to win. Sometimes that pace has to go out the door.”