By Richard Greene
Boyd freshman Jessica Burch made a strong debut in her first trip to Austin.
Burch picked up her pace over the final 200 meters to finish fifth in the Class 2A 400 at the University Interscholastic League track and field championships at Mike Myers Stadium.
Burch ran a career-best 59.67.
“I felt like I ran stronger,” she said. “It was a great experience especially being a freshman.”
Gunter’s Payton Baker won the race in 55.12. Celeste Laredo of Freer took second in 57.63. Woodville’s Shanequia Barlow finished third in 57.8.
Burch came out of the blocks conservatively and was near the rear of the field 100 meters into the race.
Burch admitted she had to battle some pre-race nerves.
She quickly moved up in the final 200 meters and finished just .02 of a second behind fourth-place Maygn Harris of Centerville.