The 2014 Faith Academy girls track team includes assistant coach Mary Nunnally (left), Alisha Williams, Juliette Fisher, Sierra Brinkley, Rachel Ormsby, Sophie McCannon, Gabby Sordelet, Christina Lykken, Danyelle Morris and head coach Steve McCannon. Courtesy photo
JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
WACO — The Faith Academy girls track-and-field team finished third at the Class 2A state meet of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools on May 3.
The Lady Flames earned 66 points to finish in the top four for 10 of the past 11 years.
“This was our last season in 2A, and we finished on the podium again,” Lady Flames head coach Steve McCannon said. “God has really blessed us. I am extremely proud of these girls. A total team effort. The 2A division is considered the most competitive division in TAPPS, and our girls were ready to compete.”
The Lady Flames won the 1,600-meter relay for the fifth time in 10 years and finished third in the 400-meter and 800-meter relays.
McCannon said the times in the 400 and 800 relays would have captured blue ribbons in past years.
“There was no margin of error, and the girls came through,” the coach said. “We almost ran the school record in 4×2 and were fighting just to get a medal. Only a lean at the tape prevented us from second in 4×1.”
He credited Sierra Brinkley, Rachel Ormsby, Gabby Sordelet, Juliette Fisher and Sophie McCannon for running their legs to perfection.
“The leadoff leg is so important, and Sierra used her experience to get us in the mix,” he said. “Gabby has come a long way since her freshman year. This was her first year to run at state, and she was ready to compete. Rachel ran really solid legs in the relays and handoffs were good. Juliette was a strong anchor in the 4×1 almost holding off the fastest girl from covenant. She anchored us home in the 4×4, and that was a textbook ending — a freshman hands off to a senior to win the 4×4 and get us on the podium. Sophie ran a smart leg in the 4×4 and was able to get the stick to Juliette in first with a cushion. I am proud of her as a coach and as her father for her leadership.”
Sophie McCannon is the state champion in the 1,600 meters and the runner-up in the 3,200 meters. Her time of 12 minutes 1.86 seconds would have won the championship in Class 3A.
“Sophie had the lead for 6½ laps in the 3,200 and just could not close it out. Sometimes, that happens in competitive sports; someone else just wants it a little more when the pain is setting in,” said the coach, who is also her father. “In the 1,600, she came back strong and put the hammer down on laps two and three. She refused to be denied that title.”
In the field events, Alisha Williams threw 82 feet 11 inches in the discus for a new season best. She finished fifth overall.
“She threw 25 feet farther at state than she did at her first meet,” McCannon said. “She is proof that if you keep plugging away and working, God will bless you.”
De Soto Canterbury won the team title with 84 points, while Austin Hill Country was the runner-up with 79½ points. Boerne Geneva was fourth with 54 points. Hill Country and Geneva are in the same district as Faith.
RESULTS — 100: 6, Gabby Sordelet, 13.96; 1,600: 1, Sophie McCannon, 5:29.30 (all-state and new school record); 3,200: 2, Sophie McCannon, 12:01.86 (all-state); 4×100 relay: 3, Faith (Sierra Brinkley, Rachel Ormsby, Gabby Sordelet, Juliette Fisher), 52.87 (all-state and season best); 4×200 relay: 3, Faith (Sierra Brinkley, Rachel Ormsby, Gabby Sordelet, Juliette Fisher), 1:50.88 (all-state and season best); 4×400 relay: 1, Faith (Sierra Brinkley, Christina Lykken, Sophie McCannon, Juliette Fisher), 4:18.45 (all-state and season best); triple jump: 6, Juliette Fisher, 33-1; discus: 5, Alisha Williams, 82-11 (season’s best)
ACADEMIC ALL-STATE: Sierra Brinkley, Christina Lykken, Rachel Ormsby
QUOTABLE: “To win, we would have needed another team to make a mistake. The points almost came out exactly to the seeds. In that scenario, there is not much you can do. Third place really felt like winning. The girls did all they could to try to win a title. Sometimes, you just get beat. That is the beauty of track: You can feel completely content and at peace with third,” head coach Steve McCannon said.