AUSTIN — Class 4A pole vault was well-represented locally by Gatesville sophomore Jordan Morse and Lampasas senior Ryan Fesler in Saturday’s University Interscholastic League State Track and Field Meet.
Neither Morse nor Fesler was able to medal in the meet — both finished fourth — but they took away experience and memories.
After matching her personal-best pole vault of 11 feet, Morse was spent.
“The heat got to me,” she said. “It was a little hot, so I have to get acclimated to that,” said Morse.
Morse found herself not only in her first state meet, but going against a record-setting performer in Taylor’s Anna Cathry-Griffith.
Cathry-Griffith broke her own Class 4A record by half an inch, clearing 13-3.
“She (Cathry-Griffith) did amazing and that just makes me want to get better,” Morse said. “She is a great role model and she’s so positive all the time and she jumped great.
“Competing against her taught me that I need to work and train harder to get where I want to be.”
Morse enjoyed her first trip to state and she plans on learning from the lessons she gained from the experience.
“I’m so thankful to be here and I had a great time,” said Morse. “I had a great day and tied my personal record, so I’m just very thankful.
“I plan on doing a lot of drill work over the summer, especially for summer track.”
Fesler got the opportunity that a lot of seniors across the state didn’t: He was able to chase a medal at the state meet.
Fesler’s 15-foot pole vault was second only to the 16-1 of champion Bryce Raders of Fredericksburg, but two other competitors cleared the height first to get on the medal stand ahead of the Lampasas senior.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “I’m glad I made it here my senior year and I did all I could.
“I’m bummed that I wasn’t able to do a bit better, but it was a good time.”
Fesler will now have time to reflect on his varsity career. Where does making it to state in his final season of track rank?
“I feel like this is the greatest accomplishment of my high school career and it was my goal entering this year,” he said. “Unfortunately, I wanted to do a little better, but I got here, I made it here, I made it happen.”
The Badgers had multiple athletes competing at the state meet, which is a testament to the success of the program.
“Our team works hard every day after school and we’re really and truly a team,” Fesler said. “We have a good bond and we’re out there every day putting in work trying to get here and do the best we can.”
What’s next for Fesler as he begins his journey into the world?
“College is next, I’m trying to take it to college and better myself in the end.”