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Faith Academy track teams finish in top six at regionals, prepares for state meet

CAPTION: Faith Murphy runs for the gold medal in the 400 meters, one of the three she earns at the South Regional track-and-field meet of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools April 29. Courtesy photo

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls boys and girls track-and-field teams are continuing marches to the podium of the Class 3A state meet of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

The state track meet is Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, at Waco Midway.

The Lady Flames finished as the runners-up in the team division thanks to scoring 106 points. Tomball Rosehill Christian won the regional title with 171 points. Sixteen teams competed.

“If you can lose to the champion, that makes you feel better,” Faith head coach Steve McCannon said. “I think Rosehill will win state. We want to be on that podium, too.”

The Flames were sixth in the team standings with 46 points out of 18 teams. Rosehill Christian won the division with 113.5 points.

McCannon said he was proud of the Flames and Lady Flames for how well they competed in a tough regional meet.

“They competed all day as a team and set season records in almost every event, which shows we are ready when it really counts,” he said. “We came up just short in qualifying for two relays but also picked up three qualifying spots we did not expect. This puts us in position to get back on the podium at state. Consistency is what I’m proud of. We try to qualify in a lot of events.

“It’s a tough regional meet (for the boys, too),” he added. “At the regional meet, we’re always running for placements and trying to qualify.”

The Lady Flames were led by sophomore Faith Murphy who nabbed triple gold in the 400, 800 and 1,600 meters.

“Faith Murphy was Faith Murphy. Faith had another big day at the office,” McCannon said. “Faith is looking strong in all her events and can take dead aim at three state records in her events at state. I really enjoy watching her race, and she leaves no doubt. She is a force.”

No race illustrates what McCannon and his staff teaches more the the 1,600-meter relay where the Lady Flames were seeded sixth and finished with the regional bronze medal.

“I am really proud of the girls as they needed to run two to three seconds faster per leg to have a chance in this competitive region,” he said. “They really can medal at state and will be the points that get us on the podium.Our 4×400-meter relay … was the sixth seed and ended up getting third. That’ll be big at state.”

Some individual performances were much like the mile relay in that the Lady Flame finished higher than she was projected.

None was bigger than what Charlee Ehrig accomplished in the 200 meters where she earned a silver medal in 27.75 seconds.

“That was the biggest shock,” McCannon said. “She was able to nip a girl at the line.”

Senior Kara Kwan’s experience and natural ability highlighted her performances in advancing to the state meet in three events.

“Kara was clutch as she made state on her last long jump,” McCannon said. “Her points in the triple jump were big as well. I am happy she will be competing in three events in state.”

Junior thrower Morgan Weems performed at a high level to advance to the state meet in both the shot put and discus.

“Morgan is in great position to medal in both throws at state,” McCannon said. “(Throwing coach Jay) Silvers had her ready and sure she qualified. When it’s all said and done, she’ll medal in both events, and she’ll help us in the team standings.”

And though the Lady Flames’ 1,600-meter relay was the only one to advance to the state meet, McCannon noted the runners gave their all.

“We ran our season best times,” he said. “Even though we ran our best times, it wasn’t enough.”

The Flames were led by senior Brock Davis, sophomore Jett Murphy, William Eppler and Beau Steele.

Davis finished second in the high jump to qualify for the state meet.

“Brock was able to get to state in the high jump for a second year in a row,” McCannon said. “This is only his second season in track and as a senior, he made a valiant effort to qualify in the 400 meters.”

Jett Murphy won the 1,600 meters in 4:42.68 for a new personal best to be crowned the regional champion.

“Jett looked great in the 1,600, and it was a big win,” the coach said. “Jett has a great shot at earning a medal at state. Every time he runs, it’s another school record. I expect the same at state.”

Eppler and Steele had a strong showings in the 800 meters, McCannon said, pointing out Eppler’s time of 2:04.77 seconds is a new personal best.

“They have a real shot at medaling at state,” he said. “It’s a big win for William. And Beau is a strong freshman who continues to learn each race.”

McCannon said the athletes will use the days leading up to the state meet to maintain a physical and mental edge.

“We will finetune this week in preparation for state,” he said. “I know these girls will compete, and I look forward to the competition. We like to do hard things. We look forward to this meet each year as our goal is always to contend for state championships and find a way to get on the podium as a team. Tradition never graduates.”

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South Region meet of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools

BOYS, sixth in the team standings (top four from each event advance to the state meet)

400 — 5, Brock Davis, 53.58; 800 — 1, William Eppler, 2:04.77 (new personal best), 3, Beau Steele, 2:07.14; 1,600 — 1, Jett Murphy, 4:42.68 (new personal best), 7, William Eppler, 5:10.64; triple jump — 6, Brock Davis, 39-2.25; high jump — 2, Brock Davis, 5-8, 6, Judah Phillips, 5-4

GIRLS, second in the team standings (top four from each event advance to the state meet)

200 — 4, Charlee Ehrig, 27.75; 400 — 1, Faith Murphy, 58.18, 4, Haley Kruger, 1:05; 800 — 1, Faith Murphy, 2:13.78, 5, Claire Poage, 2:41.59; 1,600 — 1, Faith Murphy, 5:21.09; 4×100 — 6, Faith Academy, 53.16; 4×200 — 5, Faith Academy, 1:54.16; 4×400 — 3, Faith Academy, 4:22.61; high jump — 7, Hannidy Shipley, 4-8; shot put — 4, Morgan Weems, 32-5.75; discus — 2, Morgan Weems, 107-5; long jump — 4, Kara Kwan, 15-5; triple jump — 2, Kara Kwan, 32-4; pole vault — 4, Claire Poage, 7-6, 6, Kaitlyn Wood, 7-6;

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