Azle athletes shine at elite meet on UT campus
by mark k campbell
Between rainstorms, a pair of Lady Hornet track athletes lit up Mike Myers Stadium in Austin May 10.
Elisha Peters and Sarah Hall returned from the state track meet on the UT campus with medals.
Peters won the gold in high jump, becoming the first Azle athlete to do so since 2010 when discus thrower Shelbi Vaughan did it.
Hall, in a rarity, tied for third in the pole vault. Both she and Emily Gunderson from Mont Belvieu cleared heights and missed them at the same time.
The duo finished with bronzes.
Peters had her event delayed because of overnight rain. The high jump began at noon under sunny, humid, and wet conditions.
Peters was strong all the way through. She seldom missed and soon the bar was at 5 feet, 8 inches with four jumpers remaining.
The AHS senior leapt first at 5-8 and soared over the height – something her other three competitors from Bay City, Lindale, and Schertz Clemens never managed.
Peters had her gold but continued on. She made 5-9 on her first effort.
Then she took a crack at 5-10 which would break the record she already held, set at the same facility earlier in the year, 5-9 (but actually 5-9.75).
Peters couldn’t get over 5-10, but it hardly mattered. She was crowned the best 4A high jumper in the state.
Just as AHS coach Melody Dennis predicted, Peters was the top high jumper in Texas; the Lady Hornet’s 5-9 was the top height in the meet in any girls classification at the 2013 gathering.
Even though she came in with the top height, Peters said the pressure was on.
“I was super nervous, because there was a lot more competition than any other meet that I’ve been to. But I just kept saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got this; I know I can compete with you girls.’”
Peters put the group away by successfully clearing 5-8. Going first was “nerve-racking,” she said.
After she made it, the AHS senior knew the gold medal was within her reach.
“I got really excited. I said, ‘I’ve got a really good chance of winning this,’” Peters said.
The Lady Hornet said she hopes to continue her career in college. She currently is entertaining several offers, she said.
Going into the pole vault, Hall knew that her region mate Laken Taylor was the favorite. In fact, the Boswell vaulter set a new all-time Texas height that lasted for all of one day.
Four athletes made it over 12-6, including Hall; that’s the Azle High record that she set at district earlier in the season at Little Elm.
In Austin, she and Gunderson continued to mirror each other. When the results were tallied, the twosome were dead even. Both stood on the awards stand.