May 16, 2016
Cypress Springs senior Sierra Smith takes the baton from junior Erica Cormier-Jordan for the last leg of the 4x400-meter relay event at the UIL State Track and Field Championships in Austin on May 14. The Panthers placed second in the event and were runners-up for the entire meet with 60 points.
May 16, 2016—The Cypress Springs High School girls’ track and field team placed second overall, and CFISD brought home nine medals at the UIL State Track and Field Championships, held May 13-14 in Austin.
Cypress Springs senior Samiyah Samuels’ third-place jump of 19-00.25 on an injured leg helped the team earn a second-place finish at state.
The Lady Panthers track team, which placed second in 2014 and third in 2015, finished second with 60 points behind first-place DeSoto (79).
Cypress Ranch senior Branndon Marion clears a hurdle in the 300-meter hurdles event at the state championships on May 14. Marion placed second in the event with a time of 37.07.
“To be state runner-up in a state as competitive as Texas is great. This was a really tough state meet as we scored 60 points and still got second,” said Ruqayya Gibson, Cypress Springs head girls’ track coach. “For years I've been trying to get a team to score 60 points at state, because 50-66 points usually wins.
“In my opinion we learned what it truly means to be champions this year. They may not be state champions but they are my champions and I will remember this group, this team, this year and this experience forever.”
Cypress Falls senior Tyler Guillory sprints toward the finish line after clearing the final hurdle in the 110-meter hurdles event at the state track meet on May 14. Guillory placed third in the event with a time of 14.05.
Other CFISD girls’ teams claiming points were Cypress Ranch and Jersey Village (t-26th, 6 points) and Cypress Woods (t-31st, 4 points).
Jersey Village junior Morgan Stewart placed third in the 800-meter run event with a time of 2:10.58.
In the boys’ competition, Cypress Ranch (t-24th, 8 points), Cypress Falls (t-34th, 6 points) and Langham Creek (t-56th, 1 point) all earned points.
Cypress Springs senior Samiyah Samuels closed her high school career with a memorable long jump. Despite injuring her leg in the 100-meter dash event, Samuels jumped 19-00.25 to earn a third-place medal.
Cypress Ranch sophomore Kaitlyn Banas brought home a third-place medal in the pole vault event after clearing a height of 12-06 at the state championships.
“It was tough. I was nervous because I’ve never had an injury like this before,” Samuels said. “I knew I couldn’t end my senior year without giving it my best shot. I will always remember this award because it was painful mentally and physically. I had to work through it to win a medal.”
Cypress Springs sophomore Rachel Hall takes the baton from freshman Tiffany Mack in the 4x200-meter relay event at the UIL state track meet on May 14. The Panthers placed third in the event with a time of 1:36.88.
The following CFISD entries qualified for the medal stand after placing second or third in their respective events:
Cypress Woods senior Kennedy Bailey placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles event at the state track meet with a time of 13.97.
The following CFISD athletes placed fourth through ninth in their respective events:
Coach Gibson said the team has grown throughout the 2016 season and will come back stronger next year.
“This has been a life-changing year for our entire team. We will always remember the 2016 track season,” Gibson said. “From Do It For Bryson to learning how to push through pain in our lives to pushing through the pain of injury to still fight for a goal—I have never been more proud of a team than I am of this group. Words cannot describe the emotional obstacle course we have fought through. Samiyah’s performance was an example of that. We have been through so much that the girls have learned they can push through anything.”