AUSTIN — Ayanna Jones knows what she accomplished. She just cannot comprehend it.

In her debut at the University Interscholastic League Class 6A State Track & Field Championships, Belton’s standout senior capitalized on the opportunity, making school and state history en route to becoming the first Lady Tiger to earn a state championship.

On the heels of her monumental performance in the long jump and a fourth-place finish in the triple jump, Jones admitted being humbled by the achievements even if she does not fully understand the magnitude yet.

“I feel like it is going to take some time before what I did really sinks in,” Jones said. “I’m sure once I’m around my parents and family and friends, who all came here to support me, that I’ll start to get it. I know that it is a big deal.

“It just has not sunken in, though.”

Jones began her day by winning the long jump thanks to a record-breaking leap on her final attempt.

After scratching on her first try, Jones bounced back with a jump measuring 20 feet, 9 inches on her second attempt to place her atop the field. The mark held for the remainder of the competition until Jones, who had already secured the gold medal, cleared it and set a state record of 21-3½ to conclude the event.

“I was already sitting in first place,” she said, “and my coach was telling me not to take the last jump, but I wanted that state record. That last jump was specifically to get the state record.

“When I landed, my immediate reaction was just, ‘Dang. That is far.’”

The previous state record of 21-3¼ stood for more than two decades after being set by Luling’s Ychlindria Spears in 2001.

The showing also rewrote the Lady Tigers record book for a second time this season after Jones broke the previous record with a 21-1½ leap at the District 12-6A meet.

She followed with performances of 20-6½ and 20-10 at the area and regional meets, respectively, where she placed second behind Klein junior India Alix.

It would not happen again.

Alix finished second at state, clearing 20-0, while Prosper junior Kayla Watson (19-10) was third.

Later in the day, Jones finished fourth in a back-and-forth triple jump competition. Following her first two jumps, Jones was atop the field but eventually fell behind as a pair of participants cleared 42-0 on their final attempt.

Jones’ last leap of 41-9 set a school record despite not earning a medal as Humble Summer Creek senior Jade Johnson (42-6), San Antonio Reagan senior Taylen Wise (42-0) and Alix (41-11¼) claimed the top three spots.

While it might take Jones some time to completely comprehend her accomplishments, she will never forget the experience.

“This is just a really amazing feeling considering I never even made it to this point during my first three years of high school,” Jones said. “It was just an incredible way to close my last year.”


Tr’Darius Taylor capped off his career with the Wildcats by capturing a bronze medal, posting a time of 10.53 seconds in the 100-meter dash.

He entered with the third fastest seed time, and things played out exactly as predicted.

Duncanville senior Pierre Goree was the field favorite and placed first in 10.22, while Alvin Shadow Creek senior Isaac Henderson (10.31) finished second.

While Taylor hoped to emerge with the state title, he could not complain, especially after considering his past.

“I feel really blessed and grateful,” Taylor said, “because I didn’t even run track my freshman year. I wasn’t into track even though I was fast, and everyone said I might be the fastest in the school, but I just didn’t like it.

“I finally started in my sophomore year and just got better and better, and this year, I ended up where I wanted to be.”


1. Ayanna Jones, Belton, 21-3½

2. India Alix, Klein, 20-0

3. Kayla Watson, Prosper, 19-10

4. Taylen Wise, SA Reagan, 19-5

5. Alyssa Jones, Smithson Valley, 19-1¼

6. Jade Johnson, Humble Summer Creek, 19-0¼

7. Chelsea Heggar, Klein Forest, 18-9

8. Reed Granger, Richardson, 18-9

9. Ra’lanna Artmore, Dickinson, 18-0¾


1. Jade Johnson, Humble Summer Creek, 42-6

2. Taylen Wise, SA Reagan, 42-0

3. India Alix, Klein, 41-11¼

4. Ayanna Jones, Belton, 41-9

5. Iyanna Webb, Northside Harlan, 40-5¾

6. Avery Segura, Austin Vandegrift, 40-2

7. Sophia Day, Denton Guyer, 39-4½

8. Indya Dotson, Houston Memorial, 37-11½

9. Kelis Armstrong, Lewisville Hebron, 37-8½


1. Pierre Goree, Duncanville, 10.22

2. Isaac Henderson, Alvin Shadow Creek, 10.31

3. Tr'Darius Taylor, Temple, 10.53

4. Xavier Lewis, Lewisville, 10.56

5. Myles Thomas, Humble Summer Creek, 10.6

6. King Micah Scales, Cedar Hill, 10.61

7. Hunter Krepp, Dallas Jesuit, 10.61

8. Grant Hunter, SA Reagan, 10.71

9. Tevijon Williams, Smithson Valley, 10.77


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