Billies just shy of state medals

Competing against Texas’ best, three Fredericksburg High School athletes earned points in their divisions at the State 3A University Interscholastic League Track and Field Meet on Friday and Saturday in Austin.

Samuel Studebaker finished fourth in the boys’ 800 meter run, Chase Whiting was fourth in the girls’ 100 meter hurdles and Lauren Smith was sixth in the girls’ pole vault.

The state meet was held at Mike Myers Stadium on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Samuel Studebaker

Studebaker’s appearance at the state meet was the second for the FHS junior.

And with a time of 1:59.55, Studebaker was fourth in the 800 meter run.

“Our goal for Sam was to return to the state meet, which he did, and to improve upon his finish from last year,” said head track coach Dan Aldrich.

Not only did Sam set a new personal best with his time, but he also improved his place from last year’s fifth to fourth this year, Aldrich said.

The coach said, “Sam scored four points for FHS at the state meet and our goal is to now continue to improve over the next year so that we can try and get on the medal stand his senior year and make it three years in a row to the state meet.”

Aldrich pointed out that all three medalists in front of Studebaker are seniors and that he is the best 3A returning 800 meter runner from this year’s state meet for next season.

Brandon Rivera of Decatur won the event with a time of 1:54.97, followed by Dylan Evans of Kaufman in second with a time of 1:55.62, and Mylik Kerley of Taylor in third with a time of 1:56.10.

Chase Whiting

When Whiting stepped on the field in Austin to compete in the 100 meter hurdles, she had a goal.

“The goal for Chase was to beat the two athletes who beat her at regionals and to show the state that she is one of the best hurdlers in Class 3A,” Aldrich said. “She did exactly that by finishing fourth, just missing the medal stand by 0.05 seconds.”

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