Tatum Girls Repeat as Class 2A State Track + Field Champions
AUSTIN -- Tatum's relay prowess combined with junior Kenija Collier's long jump record to deliver a second consecutive state championship for the Lady Eagles.
Tatum won the Class 2A girls track and field state championship for the second year in a row Saturday thanks in part to a sprint relay gold medal and 800-meter relay silver medal.
Add Collier's 42-foot, 2 1/2-inch 2A girls record-setting long jump from Friday and Ro'neshia Simpson's bronze-medal performance in Saturday's 400 meters, and veteran coach Danny Mitchell was celebrating by 4:15 p.m.
"Now we gotta start working on a third one," Mitchell said and laughed.
The state title was no surprise for Tatum, especially since the Lady Eagles got their 800-meter relay team to Austin this year after recent disappointments.
"We had the fastest 4x2 and got disqualified two years in a row, so I figured if we got that here, we'd have a better shot (of repeating)," Mitchell said.
Collier, who has another year of her high school career to look forward to, had little doubt she would set the 2A state record.
"I was sure," Collier said of her level of confidence in setting a new record entering Saturday's competition.
Collier's jump was more than 4 1/2 feet better than her closest competitor.
"I felt ecstatic," Mitchell said of Collier's Friday long jump title. "She said she was going for 41, but hey, we'll take 42-2."
Tatum edged Goliad and Rosebud-Lott to win the sprint relay.
Alexes Bell, Simpson, Collier, and anchor Kiana Turner ran a time of 47.80 to beat Goliad by 0.05 seconds. Rosebud-Lott was third with a 48.06. No other team was faster than 48.91.
"I just believe that if we can give the baton to Kiana in a good position, we will win it," Mitchell said.
Tatum's 800-meter relay team -- Bell, Shanetria Minor, and Turner, and Collier -- 1:41.77 behind Jefferson's gold-winning time of 1:41.24.
- 1. Tatum (Alexes Bell, Ro’neshia Simpson, Kenija Collier, Kiana Turner) — 47.80 — GOLD
- 2. Tatum (Alexes Bell, Shanetria Minor, Kiana Turner, Kenija Collier) — 1:41.77 — SILVER
- 3. Ro’neshia Simpson, Tatum — 58.04 — BRONZE
- 1. Kenija Collier, Tatum — 42-2 1/2 — GOLD