By Greg Ford
Michael Madu and Jackerria Hughes each leaped their way to the state meet with first-place finishes at last weekend’s Class 6A, Region II meet in Arlington.
Madu, a senior, finished ahead of the pack in the boys’ triple jump (49-00.50) at the University of Texas campus, while Hughes leapt 18-04.75 to take the long jump They, along with several other PESH representatives, will head south for the May 15-16 meet at Mike Myers Stadium on the main UT campus.
Joining them in Austin will be senior Madison Compass, who took second in the girls’ 800 (2:12.13), finishing behind McKinney Boyd junior Aaliyah Miller (2:10.58).
On the boys’ side, Chris Ntreh captured second in the 100 (10.58), coming in just behind Keller Central’s Jacob Gray (10.54), and .01 seconds in front of Arlington Martin’s Nick Albus (10.59).
The girls’ 1,600 relay — Madison Compass, Stevi Kincade, Amarachi Ngwakwe and Allison Compass — also took second (3:47.95) behind Boyd (3:47.37).
In other regional competition, the girls’ 400 relay team was fourth (47.62), the same spot Ntreh finished in the 200 (21.46). Compass was fifth in the girls’ 400 (57.72).
“We did an outstanding job (at regionals), particularly Jackerria in the long jump,” said East girls’ coach Chris Lillie. “Our district prepared us well for it … We were very well prepared going into district and the area meet as well.”
He added, “Going in, we knew they all had a great shot at (making state), and we were fortunate enough to perform well on Saturday, which eventually got us to state.”
Currently, Madison Compass is the No. 3 seed in the 800, the same place held by the girls’ 1,600 relay, the coach noted.
“I think our goal in both going in is to definitely get on the medal stand for all three events (that we’re in),” Lillie said.
He added, “It’s an excellent season so far. We have made it to regionals in these events … so we’re excited we got over that hump and are going to the state meet.”