With a late push down the stretch, Decatur’s Nicole Neighbors wrapped up her first trip to the UIL Track and Field State Meet with a smile.
The sophomore closed with a fourth-place finish in the Class 3A 300-meter hurdles, clocking a personal best time of 45.23. She finished second at the Region II meet in Commerce with a 45.77.
Kendall Cox of Carrollton Ranchview, who edged Neighbors at regionals, took third at state in 44.53.
With a time of 42.99, Abigail Sheppard of Cuero grabbed the gold.
Earlier in the evening, Neighbors ran the 100-meter hurdles a little slower than her qualifying time, taking seventh with a 15.77.
Her rival at the regional meet, Antonisha Stewart of Carrollton Ranchview, took first in 14.05, well ahead of her regional time of 14.19.
“For being at state for the first time and all our kids being underclassmen, I thought they did well,” Decatur coach David Park said. “The thing that stands out in my mind is how hard they competed.
“They weren’t just happy to be there. They wanted to excel.”
The other Lady Eagle making her debut at the state meet was Haley Dennard, who placed seventh in the 800-meter with a time of 2:22.87.
Bayleigh Chavers of Stephenville finished first in 2:14.91.