The phrase ‘national championship’ took Cion Hicks’ breath away.
Just weeks after finally winning gold medals in the discus and shot put at the 5A state track meet, the Shoemaker senior is ready to embark on her collegiate career.
She’s anxious to see what her throwing coaches at Baylor are going to do to bring out the potential they see in her.
But at the thought that her talent and drive combined with their coaching could lead to a national championship, Hicks gathered her thoughts as she relished a daydream of competing on that big of a stage.
“Wow, that took my breath away,” Hicks said. “I never really think about it, I guess, until it comes. The opportunity that I even get to (try to) do that, because I’m competing on the collegiate level, is overwhelming. ... It’s not high school, anymore, but just the fact that I’m going to have the ability to do that is just great. It sounds really nice.”
In her third trip to the state track meet, Hicks finally won the gold medals she pursued, winning state championships in the discus, with a throw of 160 feet, 6 inches, and the shot put (47-9).
And, for the third-straight year, she is the Daily Herald’s All-Area girls track athlete of the year.
She led the shot put until the final round, when Dickinson’s Lauryn Caldwell uncorked a throw of of 46-3 1/2 to top Hicks’ previous best throw of 45-11. With her final attempt, Hicks reclaimed the lead and took home the first of her two gold medals from the meet.
“Last year, I remember, I got silver in both and I’m thankful for that, but I’m just kind of like, ‘You’re almost there.’ It was like I was tasting the chocolate icing, but I didn’t get to have the cake,” Hicks said. “This year, I got to have it all.”
With her high school career now wrapped nicely in gold, Hicks now turns to Baylor, where she is ready to get started, ready to experience competing against girls with more experience, including Olympic trials experience.
That’s a future she wants and she’s willingly handing it to her Baylor coaches.
“They’re going to take me and mold me into what they know I can become,” Hicks said. “I’m just ready to see what they’re ready to do, anything (they say). If they say I have to go run through a pig pen, I’m going to run through a pig pen if it’s going to make me better. Whatever they tell me I need to do, I’m going to go do it to be better. I’m just ready to go to Baylor to see what they can do.”
Hurdler — Kaylee Krenek, Belton: Krenek, just a sophomore, placed ninth in the 100-meter hurdles at the state track meet in 14.47 seconds, less than a whole second behing 5A champion Alaysh’A Johnson from Spring. She won the race at the District 8-5A meet as well as at the area meet before finishing second at the Region I-5A meet.
Distance — Brittany Mitchell, Killeen: Instead of running the 3,200 this season, the junior ran the 800 and was a regional qualifier in it as well as in the 1,600 meters. The three-time All-Area girls cross country MVP had a disappointing showing at the Region I-5A meet, where she was ninth in the 1,600 (5:14.03) and 12th in the 800 (2:19.82).
Jumper — Mikhaila Barnett, Lometa: Just a sophomore, Barnett finished third in the Class 1A-Division II high jump. She had a field-best mark of 5-foot-4 coming into the state track, but slipped on a wet track on her final attempt at 5-2 to wind up with the bronze medal.
Thrower — Tricia Williams, Lometa: The junior won matching gold medals in the Class 1A-Division II discus and shot put at the state track meet. She won the discus for a second-straight year with a throw 131 feet, 7 inches. She won the shot put with a throw of 42-10 1/4 this year after placing third in the event as a sophomore.
Sprinter — Brittany Adkins, Harker Heights: The senior won her second-straight district championship in the 100 meters and anchored the Lady Knights’ regional qualifying 400- and 800-meter relays. After upsetting Waco Midway’s Natalie Poynter (finished fourth in the event at the 2012 4A state meet) to win the District 8-5A championships, Adkins finished sixth at the area meet. The Lady Knights’ relays both finished fourth at the Region I-5A meet.
Relay — Lometa’s 400-meter relay: Comprised of Alexis West, Angelo Arellano, Jessica Moore and Esmerada Jasso, the Hornets’ sprint relay finished ninth at the state track meet in 54.20.
Pole Vaulter — Elizabeth Crosby, Harker Heights: The senior gymnast set a school record at the District 8-5A meet, finished second at the area meet and was ninth at the Region I-5A meet. She finished third at the District 8-5A meet despite clearing 10-foot-6 — her previous personal best was just 9-6. She finished with 10-foot marks at the area and regional meets.