AUSTIN – Texas City’s dominance of Friday’s University Interscholastic League track and field state finals fell just short of a historic moment for the Lady Stings, yet it was a performance that was one of the most remarkable by a Galveston County area school.
The Lady Stings finished second in the Class 4A overall standings, as their total of 48 points was narrowly topped by Dallas Lancaster’s 50.
Texas City had a chance to capture the school’s first state title in girls track and field, but a seventh-place finish in the 800-meter relay — an event that Dallas Lancaster won — proved to be the difference.
Still, Texas City had no reason to hang its head, as the team captured first place in three events.
Junior Asa Garcia helped pave the way for the Lady Stings by winning the long jump and triple jump during the early session before contributing to the team’s victory in the 400-meter relay. Garcia finished ninth in the 200-meter dash.
Teammate Melicha Smith finished second in the 100-meter dash, as her time of 11.92 seconds placed her behind Houston C.E. King’s Tramesha Hardy.
Garcia began the awards haul for Texas City when she won the long jump with an effort of 19-4 3/4, bettering the 19-41/4 of Forney’s Kia Hawn.
She followed up by taking the triple jump, as her 40-81/2 gave her just enough distance to hold off Hayley Folk of Frisco Heritage, who came in second with a jump of 40-4.
It was the 400-meter relay team that delivered one of the evening’s more memorable performances, as Garcia and teammates Aerial Smith, Carmen White and Melicha Smith went into a near-photo finish against District 24-4A rival Pearland Dawson. Melicha Smith held off Dawson’s Erica Davis in the final 100 meters as Texas City took first place with a time of 46.67 seconds, a mere .10 seconds better than the Lady Eagles.
Ball High’s Drake Murphy finished sixth in the boys’ 400-meter dash in a time of 48.58, an event that was won by Medina Valley’s Stephen Champlin.
Friendswood’s Garrett Cragin, who began competing in the high jump just more than a month ago, was unable to deliver the magic that led him to the Region III championship two weeks earlier.
The Mustangs senior had a jump of 6-4, which placed him eighth overall.
A host of other area athletes will get their chance to shine, as the Class 5A and 3A portion will be held today.
La Marque’s Michael Smither will compete in the 3A boys shot put, while Dickinson’s Lauryn Caldwell will compete in the 5A girls shot put and discus.
Clear Springs will be represented, as Thai Williams will run the girls 100-meter run and will be part of the 400-meter relay team that also includes Naomi Taylor, Ericka Rodriguez and Aundreya Tidwell.