A Tigerette trio pushed through sideways rain and sickening heat at the 3A Region IV meet in Converse, punching their tickets to states in individual events.
Goliad seniors Karleigh Hill and Lauren Bond, along with record-breaking freshman Kyla Hill, all advanced to the state meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. The Longhorn sanctuary will be turning Tigerette blue beginning Thursday.
In Converse April 24 and 25, the three stars excelled in their specialties. Karleigh Hill was victorious at the regional meet in long jump (17 feet, 2 inches) and triple jump (38-5), also qualifying for state in 100-meter hurdles (time of 15.0 seconds). Lauren Bond will be moving on in the 400 meter dash, taking down the regional field with a time of 59.9.
The freshman left the most lingering impact on the meet, however, as Kyla Hill broke the 3A Region IV record in 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.74. She also qualified for state in triple jump and the 100-meter hurdles.
Kyla was particularly dialed in due to a first-time encounter with Karnes City’s Reagan Johnson, who had been nearly mirroring her times all season. At the end of regionals, the freshman finished 0.13 seconds ahead of her foe.
“I feel like there was definitely something (special) ... in 300s, I wanted to beat (Johnson) really bad, so it just really clicked,” she said.
In the heat of the moment, Hill’s peripheral vision was her main asset, knowing to keep Johnson at bay through the 300-meter stretch.
“(I was) thinking about not slowing down, because (she’s) right there, if that makes sense,” she said. “I heard her and I could see her arms, so I was like ‘don’t slow down.’”
After facing rain on the first day of competition, the Judson stadium became a hot, humid mess for the final races. Staying strong in the heat required the mental knowhow of the Tigerettes.
“The hot definitely drains you out because of the sun,” Karleigh Hill said. “We stayed in the shade as much as possible.”
Bond showed her track intelligence in her specialty, the 400-meter dash. Typically a slow starter, the senior shifted her strategy to ensure a state bid.
“The first 200 I really took off for this one,” Bond said. “I thought I was sprinting. And I just didn’t slow down ... I definitely start off slower (usually) and build up speed, but this time I decided to go.”
Stepping up to the state level is just another part of the journey for the three, all Goliad born and raised. The Hill sisters, Karleigh and Kyla, began track before most could write coherent sentences, picking up the love for the sport as far back as kindergarten. The duo described themselves as a “10” on a 1-10 scale of competitive nature, looking to best the other both in track and on the volleyball court.
Karleigh stated that it’s “fun to compete” against her younger sister, swapping victories in different events. Karleigh was the victor in long jump and triple jump at regionals, while Kyla grabbed the win in both hurdle events.
Ultimately, the two have pushed each other to become true representatives of Goliad on the state-wide stage.
“It’s great to have the support, knowing the community is there,” Karleigh said.
Karleigh is committed to run at Tarleton State University in Stephenville for the next school year, while Bond will be replacing running track with running experiments, choosing to attend Texas A&M on an animal science path.
For both seniors, as well as their freshman peer, the future can wait until after states.
The trio will be in team competition as well in Austin, joining freshman Addison Zamzow in the 4x400 relay event.