Panhandle girls make it back-to-back 2A state titles during day two of the UIL state track meet tack

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Panhandle’s Leah Land celebrates after helping her team win the 400-meter gold medal during the UIL Class 2A state track and field meet on Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]
Under the lights of Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin on Friday night, the Panhandle Ettes were able to once again call themselves a UIL Class 2A state champion.

Just like they did a year ago, when it was a three-way tie with Refugio and Stamford, Panhandle once again split the state title this time with just Refugio totaling 64 points to claim the program’s third state championship in the past four years.

“This feels good,” Panhandle head coach Corby Maurer said. “It feels special to do this with young athletes that we have. This is the first time in a while we haven’t brought a handful of seniors down here to Austin. The young ones did such a great job, and we were all great when we needed to be.”

Panhandle had to make every single point count with the work of six athletes. In the morning session, sophomore Nelly Theissen earned eight key points winning a silver medal for Panhandle in the shot-put thanks to a toss of 42-0 1/2 inches. Later Friday morning, freshman Carly Land snuck in four points taking fourth place in the pole vault event clearing a season-best 11-feet.

“We needed those points,” Maurer said. “We knew we had three good relays, but we needed those big points to come. It certainly kept us in the conversation and the team title by the end of the night.”

Fastforward to the evening and the Panhandle sprint relay team of Ell Robinson, Carly Land, Makennah Austin and Leah Land, smoked the field with a blazing school-record time of 47.98 to post 20 points for a gold medal. That mark is the third fastest time in Class 2A state history.

“The sprint relay was huge,” Maurer said. “That was a new school-record for us. I thought we could do something special like that and we did. That really gave us the start we needed.”

Panhandle freshman Carly Land capped off a tremendous freshman season with a silver medal in the 300-meter race. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]
In the 800-meter relay, the squad of Austin, Riley Segura, Lexi Durst, and Leah Land got fourth (1:45.06) adding to the point total then Carly Land once again helped her team in the 300-meter hurdles with a silver medal time of 43.43.

Then came the final race of the night.

Panhandle trailed Refugio most of the day and was behind 64-48 heading into the 1600-meter relay. The Ettes had to win the mile relay or get silver to split the state crown. The team of Austin, Carly Land, Segura, and Leah Land did just that racing to a 3:58.98 for a silver medal behind Goldthwaite to earn their second straight state championship.

Gruver’s Michael McCloy won two medals on Friday during the UIL Class 2A state track and field meet. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]

Gruver’s McCloy takes home two medals 

Gruver senior Michael McCloy ended a tremendous track and field season in style Friday.

McCloy left Austin with a little extra hardware taking home a silver medal in the 300-meter hurdles thanks to clocking a 38.90 and won a bronze earlier Friday morning in the pole vault event clearing 15-feet.

McCloy’s cousin and teammate Pratt McLain won the silver medal in the pole vault as the University of Alabama signee leaped 15-feet-6 inches.

Other medalists on Friday out of Class 2A were Sunray’s Mia Gray who earned a bronze in the discus with a throw of 133-11, and Wetera Schlachter of Boys Ranch also won bronze in the 1600-meter race with a time of 4:29.98.

Amarillo High’s Adam Burlison won the gold medal in the UIL Class 5A 1600-meter race on Friday night at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]

Burlison goes out with a bang 

Amarillo High’s Adam Burlison was the definite highlight of the UIL Class 5A meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Friday night.

Running at his future home, the University of Texas signee, defended his 1600-meter championship from a year ago when he ran at Grapevine clocking a time of 4:07.81 that was good enough to just hold off Lucas Lovejoy’s Caden Gary (4:08.00).

Burlison ran with purpose during the 1600-meter run after coming up short of defending his 3200-meter title Friday morning getting a silver medal with a time of 9:03.98.

“I was upset this morning,” Burlison said. “I feel like I just fell asleep during the 3200-meter run and I told myself I can’t go out on a silver medal. Coming back and getting this gold means everything to me. Ending my high school career here and knowing I’m coming to run at Texas means everything to me.”

Burlison was the only Amarillo ISD athlete to medal Friday. The Amarillo High 1600-meter relay team of Moriah Claybrook, Keely Harper, Willow Cornell and Sierra Cornell, placed eighth with a 3:55.31.

Harper finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles (45.17), and Tascosa’s Aushun Wilson placed fourth in the long jump (21-6 3/4).

Randall’s Tahlie Brandt won two gold medals and a silver during the wheelchair events on Friday afternoon. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]

Brandt put on a show 

Randall’s Tahli Brandt put on one of the best performances any wheelchair competitor from the Texas Panhandle ever has at the UIL state track and field meet on Friday afternoon.

The sophomore stole the show on the girls’ side winning medals in all three events.

Brandt started her day with a gold medal in the shot put with all six throws beating every competitor but her longest toss coming at 16-1 3/4 feet. Friday night, Brandt claimed a silver in the 100-meter race with a time of 22.85 but bounced back to win her second gold medal of the day in the 400-meter clocking a 1:37.97.

“This was an amazing day,” Brandt said. “I’m so glad I got to compete this year and represent my school. I’m thankful to be here and it was just awesome.”

For full results from Friday’s UIL Class 5A-2A state track and field meet please visit, https://uil.tfresult.com/#2AG

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