By Greg Ford
The Wylie ISD high school sports season officially came to an end last Thursday evening in Austin at the University of Texas’s Mike Myers Stadium.
It was there that Wylie East Halie Daniel, who was making her first appearance, competed in the Class 5A girls’ state shot put competition, while Wylie’s Andrea Nwachukwu, in her third and last trip to state, took part once again in the girls’ triple. The latter earned her best finish state finish, taking fourth with a leap of 49-4.50 (school meet record), while the former was sixth overall with a toss of 39-10.75.
In 2013, Nwachukwu leaped 38-05.50 at state and followed that last year by jumping 37-02.00, each good enough for fifth. At this year’s regionals, Nwachukwu leaped of 38-05.75 at regionals, which was good enough for second and placed her as the No. 7 seed heading into state.Mansfield Summit’s Ivy Walker (38-11.50 and No. 3 seed) won the Region II meet, but finished eighth overall at state (38-04.75). Texas City’s Ana Garcia (42-05.75) won the gold in Austin.
Daniel entered state as the No. 6 seed (41-04.50) coming out of regionals, after finishing second behind Lancaster’s Deja Erskine (43-05.25 and No. 4 seed) at the Region II meet. Cedar Park’s Crystal Onwukaife (46-00) was the top seed heading into the state meet and ended up No. 1 in Texas with a throw of 43-11.00. Erskine was fourth with a toss of 41-02.75.
“It was a cool thing … It also was very intimidating,” Daniel said of her first trip to state.
She added, “I was physically ready. I wasn’t mentally prepared enough … I did have (a toss) over 40 (feet before state). Just knowing that, it (my performance) was very tough to swallow.”
Having been to state, Daniel now knows what to expect, adding that should another trip to Austin take place in 2016, she’ll be better prepared. The Lady Raider said part of the preparation will include taking part in meets this summer.
“I need a lot of practice,” Daniel said.