This moment has been a long time coming for Kassidy Kirkpatrick. Heck, it’s been a long time coming for the Granbury Lady Pirates track program.
When the senior high jumper competes in the UIL Class 5A State Track and Field Meet Friday morning, she will be the first Lady Pirate to appear in the prestigious meet in more than a decade. The last to do so was pole vaulter Morgan Northcutt, who did so from 2010-12, finishing third as a junior.
Kirkpatrick qualified for state by winning the Region 1 Meet April 29 in Lubbock, clearing 5 feet, 5 inches.
"My past four years at GHS have prepared me for this moment,” Kirkpatrick said. I feel like my hard work has paid off, and I'm thrilled to compete at the state meet for my last high school meet.
Kirkpatrick enters as the No. 6 seed. She has a career-best of 5-6 and matching that at state would give her a good chance at medaling. The top jump was recorded by Frisco Wakeland’s Hannah Pfiffner at 5-8.
“I am so excited for Kassidy. She has been very consistent in her jumping this year and very determined to do her best — and she has,” Lady Pirates coach Amber Ward said. “The top seed being 5-8 will fuel her fire!
“Coach (Desiree) Shahan has been working very hard with her this season. She knows that Kassidy can get 5-8 and has been telling Kassidy that she is very capable of 5-8.” Kirkpatrick has committed to jump next season for Tarleton State University — which is now an NCAA Division I school.
SPOTLIGHT NOT FAZING FRESHMAN
Miller Schenewark will be making his debut at the Class 5A State Track and Field Meet Friday morning in the high jump competition. And though he is a freshman, the looming spotlight of competing on the biggest stage at the University of Texas in Austin does not appear to be daunting to him.
“I try to stay humble. I try to just be my best and not worry about others,” Schenewark said.
After finishing third at the Region 1 Meet with a career-best jump of 6-6, he had to wait to see if it would qualify him as a wild card — as the best third-place jump in all four of the state’s regions. To make things even more intense, Schenewark learned he was tied with another jumper at the same height, so it came down to how many misses each had as a tiebreaker.
“It was stressful. It was a long couple of days,” Schenewark said.
“For a freshman he’s extremely mature,” Pirates coach Jody Brown said. “I thought at Lubbock (regionals), being a freshman, I might see some wide eyes, but that’s where he did his best.
“He’s just gotten better each week.”
Schenewark enters state as the sixth seed. The top jump was by Clint Horizon’s Ricardo Leyva at 6-11.
Schenewark is the first Pirate to qualify for state track since Luke Mankowsky two years ago in the discus.
“Hopefully we can make this a habit going forward,” Brown said.
STATE TWICE AS NICE FOR SOILEAU
Tolar senior Dillon Soileau will be competing in two events at the Class 2A State Track and Field Meet at UT Austin Friday afternoon. He’ll run solo in the 110-meter hurdles and join teammates Garrison Nation (junior), Cade Pate (sophomore) and Wyatt Jones (junior) on the 400-meter relay.
Soileau qualified individually after finishing second at the Region 2 Meet in Springtown April 29 with a time of 14.94 seconds. The quartet qualified as a wild-card after finishing with the best time in the state among third-place finishers (43.40).
Soileau is seeded fifth in the 110 hurdles, but there is a narrow margin among the top qualifiers. Jkoby Williams of Beckville has the top time of 14.44.
The relay is seeded sixth. Timpson is the top seed, clocking 42.70.
GAYLOR, NIX SET TO TEE OFF
Lipan sophomore Hanna Gaylor and Tolar freshman Callan Nix will be competing in the Class 2A Girls State Golf Tournament at the Lions Municipal Golf Course in Austin Monday and Tuesday, May 15-16. For Gaylor, it is her second consecutive season to qualify, and she is confident having gone last season will prove a big plus this time.
Nix is the first Lady Rattler to qualify for state since the entire team reached Austin in 2004.
“I think being down there last year was a great learning experience for me. It helped me prepare for this year,” Gaylor said. “With me having already played it twice this year I think I will be more prepared with the course and the way it plays.
“Also having my mom — who played it all four years of high school and has won a state championship on that course — with me is also a big help, too, because she knows the course better than anyone I know.”
Wendy Gaylor is, likewise, confident the prior experience will be clutch for her daughter.
“She has improved so much from her freshman year to this year,” coach Gaylor said. “Last year she was so excited to just make it to state but this year she knows what to expect and what she has to do to get on the medal stand. That is her ultimate goal she has been working toward. In the end I'm so proud of her, her work ethic and all her accomplishments.”
Last season Hanna had rounds of 94 and 99 at state. Her qualifying rounds at the Region 2 Tournament in Ferris in mid-April were 77 and 87 for second place overall.
Nix had rounds of 86 and 88 to qualify for state. Her coach, Scott Richardson, said he’s confident she can perform at the highest level on the heels of the great freshman season she’s already had.
“Her swing as a freshman is impressive and we have enjoyed seeing her quickly learn to navigate tournaments successfully,” he said. “We are excited to see what she does at state.”
The Rattlers (16-7-2) advanced to the second round of the Class 2A playoffs in the most exciting of fashions — well, unless you’re a Moody High School fan.
Tolar wrapped up a sweep of its best-of-three series against Moody by winning 7-3 at home on a walkoff grand slam home run by Reis Brown in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday. It came after the Rattlers won 1-0 the night before in Moody on Reis Brown’s seventh-inning RBI single that drove in Talan Brown.
Talan Brown pitched a two-hitter in the Friday victory.
This is the third consecutive season the Rattlers have swept Moody in the first round of the playoffs.
The Rattlers, ranked 10th in the state by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, will next face No. 9 Axtell (21-3) in a best-of-three series in Cleburne. Game 1 is Friday at 6 p.m., Game 2 Saturday at noon and Game 3 immediately after, if necessary.
Game 1: Hitting - R. Brown, 1-for-3, triple, RBI; Keaton Morrison, 1-for-4; Brock Owens, 1-for-3; Merritt Imel, 1-for-3; T. Brown, 1-for-3; Drake Owens, 2 walks. Pitching - T. Brown, seven innings, two hits, four strikeouts.
Game 2: Hitting - R. Brown, 2-for-3, double, home run (grand slam), five RBI; B. Owens, 2-for-3; Jesse Owen, 1-for-4; Imel, 1-for-3, walk; Jackson LeCluyse, 1-for-3, home run, hit by pitch, RBI; D. Owens, three walks, hit by pitch. Pitching - LeCluyse, seven innings, five hits, three runs (two earned), five strikeouts, one walk.
The Lady Rattlers’ season came to a surprising end with losses of 9-6 at home and 12-5 at Muenster in the second (area) round of the Class 2A playoffs Friday and Saturday. Tolar (20-3-1) entered the series ranked fourth in the state by the Texas Girls Coaches Association and Muenster (17-6) was unranked.
The Lady Rattlers matched Muenster hit-for-hit in the series with 13 each, but were undone by 17 errors compared to 10 for the Lady Hornets.
Game 1: Hitting - Reese Tryon, 2-for-3, walk; Lane Gardner, 2-for-3, walk, RBI; Courtlynd Hogan, 1-for-4, two stolen bases; Allyson Dobbs, 1-for-3, double, walk, stolen base; Ava LeCluyse, 1-for-4; Kaira Krause, 1-for-4, RBI; Senne Imel, two walks, stolen base. Pitching - Tryon, seven innings, six hits, nine runs (two earned), nine strikeouts, nine walks.
Game 2: Hitting - LeCluyse, 2-for-3, two RBI; Imel, 1-for-4, triple; Dobbs, 1-for-1, double, walk, RBI; Tryon, 1-for-3, triple, RBI. Pitching - Tryon, six innings, seven hits, 12 runs (one earned), seven strikeouts, four walks.
The Lady Indians’ season ended with a 10-7 record after a 4-3 loss to Collinsville Friday in the second (area) round of the Class 2A playoffs in Jacksboro.
Hitting - Neali Overton, 2-for-4, RBI; Finley Shockley, 2-for-3; Savannah Green, 1-for-3, RBI; Ashlyn Clark, 1-for-3, triple, walk, RBI. Pitching - Ella Sharp, six innings, four hits, four runs (one earned), nine strikeouts, one walk.