WACO — The Faith Academy boys and girls track-and-field teams took top 10 finishes at the Class 2A state meet of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools on May 10-11.
The girls were third, while the boys finished fourth. The school finished seventh overall out of 20 schools.
The boys were led by Jake Diamond, who captured his third consecutive pole-vaulting state championship and set a new record at 13 feet 6 inches. Other participants included Brian Freeman, who was third in the 400 meters, Royale Brown, Hanner Shipley, who was second in the shot put, Jacob Metcalf, Asa Ortiz and Nathaniel Moses.
“I was extremely proud of Jake and Hanner,” Flames head coach Russ Roberts said. “Hanner threw for the first time in the state meet. That was great. And Brian did well. He was hurting the last 100 meters.”
Faith entered the 4×400-meter relay at the state meet after each runner set personal bests on their legs a week earlier at regionals.
“Asking kids to do that again is hard,” Roberts said. “They gave it their best.”
The Lady Flames earned 57 points for third place behind state champion Shiner St. Paul with 78 and De Soto Canterbury with 72.
“At Faith, we take aim at winning state titles, and we try to get ourselves in a position to win,” Lady Flames head coach Steve McCannon said. “The girls did just that this season, and I am extremely proud of them.”
Many of the Lady Flames set personal records in their events. And it took state record-breaking performances from the competition to secure team trophies.
“The team totals were fluid throughout the meet. We could have easily won or finished eighth overall,” McCannon said. “That is a sign of the competition.”
Faith’s seventh-place overall team finish at the meet came down to the last event: the girls 4×400-meter relay. Faith, which was in sixth place before the start of the relay, placed third in the event in 4 minutes 17.40 seconds, while Canterbury was first in 4:16.41 and Austin Hill Country came in second in 4:16.94.
Earlier in the season, the Lady Flames captured their ninth district champion out of the past 10 meets and were runners-up at the regional meet to the eventual state champion.
“We had a great season, and God continues to bless us,” McCannon said. “We had a chance to win state this year, and to be able to say that every year is what I am very proud of. Winning is a process, and tradition does not graduate. This was my 10th season, and I really enjoy seeing how track can change the lives of the athletes and prepare them for what is next in their lives.”
[tabs style=”default”] [tab title=”BOYS RESULTS”]
100: (7) Brian Freeman, 11.74; 400: (3) Brian Freeman, 52.0; 4×400 relay: (7) Faith (Royale Brown, Asa Ortiz, Brian Freeman, Jake Diamond), 3:47.51; shot put: (2) Hanner Shipley, 43-3.75; pole vault: (1) Jake Diamond, 13-6