AUSTIN — The shot put slipped out of Tricia Williams’ hand and clunked in the soft grass, still damp from showers that saturated the field early in the morning.
The Lometa junior shrugged off the 32-foot throw and worked herself back up for her final throw.
“I wasn’t holding it right,” Williams said. “I just blew it off, got pumped up again and just chunked it (the next attempt) out there.”
Williams got her final throw out there — way out there.
Williams won the Class 1A-Division II shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 10¼ inches, giving her the second of her two gold medals, and Lometa sophomore Mikhaila Barnett placed third in the high jump Friday at the UIL State Track & Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
“I’m just too excited for anything,” Williams said. “I’ve never had two gold state medals. I had one last year ... and now I have two golds (this year) ... so I’m good.”
The meet was delayed more than two hours Friday morning as showers and lightning rolled through the Austin area. The 1A-DII girls 3,200-meter run, originally scheduled to start at 8 a.m., finally kicked off the meet at 10:15.
Williams defended her 1A state discus title with a throw of 131-7 to win her first gold medal of the day and set the 1A-DII conference record. The conference was added this year when the University Interscholastic League split Class 1A, the state’s smallest classification into two divisions.
Williams won the 1A discus title last year with a throw of 133-11 and finished third in the shot (38-6¼).
A much more relaxed Williams topped her best mark last year with her first throw Friday. She set the standard with her opening mark of 38-9½. She then topped that with a 41-8¾ on her final preliminary attempt before nearly breaking the 43-foot barrier on her final throw of the day.
“Just try my best to improve everything,” Williams said of her offseason focus since last year. “In practice, I throw 45, but I’ve just been a little off. But I threw 42, so I’m happy to end with that instead of 38 like last year.”
Lometa’s 400-meter relay team of Alexis West, Angela Arellano, Jessica Moore and Esmerada Jasso finished last in the nine-team field with a time of 54.20, well behind gold medalist Rotan (51.55).
Barnett, a sophomore, finished third with a mark of 5-1 behind Heather Gillin and Kaney Rhodes after slipping on her final attempt at 5-2.
Gillin of Tilden McMullen County won the event after clearing 5-3. Crowell’s Rhodes finished second at 5-1, but with fewer misses than Barnet, who was competing at the meet for the first time.
Barnett, whose 5-4 was the best qualifying mark entering the meet, struggled with the wet track conditions from the beginning, but it hardly showed until her third approach at 5-2. After missing her first two tries at 5-2, Barnett slipped as she planted her feet to jump and slid into the mats, moving the pit three feet farther into the midfield.
“I guess that’s my fault, because I should’ve ... cleared that out of my head,” Barnett said. “That’s kind of hard.”