Morgan, Sayles lead district at area meet

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By Moses Leos III

Not even a new classification could keep Lehman High senior discus thrower Cheyenne Morgan from punching a third straight ticket to a regional meet. 

After besting the field last year in Class 4A, Morgan did the same Thursday by claiming the 13 and 14-6A area championship in Marble Falls. 

With another area title in tow, Morgan joins four Hays CISD athletes as they advanced to the UIL Region II meet in Waco Friday. For Morgan, reaching another regional meet is a testament to her progression in the sport. 

“It feels pretty good that I’ve been doing well and improving each and every year,” Morgan said. “I’ve thrown further and further and it feels good to represent my school.” 

Morgan claimed her area title by throwing a personal record of 117-feet, 8-inches, nearly tying the school record of 118-feet. 

It was done against a field led by Cedar Ridge throwers Hannah Chapman and Jordan Farris who both held the top two seeds in area. Morgan surpassed them both, adjusting to windy conditions. 

“Since it was windy and the disc was going up, I had to keep my arm level, so the disc wouldn’t go too high and it wouldn’t carry where I needed to be,” Morgan said. 

Meeting a 120-foot threshold is the goal for Morgan as she prepares for region. Ultimately, setting the school record in discus is her goal. 

“I’ve PR’d today and I’ve PR’d so far every meet,” Morgan said. “So hopefully I can get where I want to be.” 

Joining Morgan in the region meet is Lehman High high jumper Jay Sayles, who claimed an area championship by clearing 6-feet, 4-inches.

But drama ruled the 6A high jump as all competitors missed their first two attempts at 6-feet, 4-inches. On his third and final attempt, Sayles did what no other jumper could and floated over the bar. 

According to Sayles, last minute advice from his mother helped ease his mind. 

“My mom said, ‘don’t worry about it and just jump,’” he said. “So I just jumped.” 

Sayles claimed his first area championship and will be making his first trip to a region meet. 

“I feel really happy, it means a lot,” Sayles said. 

Hays High distance runners Ian Blount and Esmi Fuentes, along with pole vaulters Meagan Gray and Rebekah Pogue all qualified for region in their events.

But it was Fuentes who overcame an Achillies tendon injury to claim third place in the 1600-meter run. 

Despite falling back early, Fuentes rallied in the third of four laps to get back on track. 

“I knew I had to go in the third lap and I had to give it my all,” she said. “I knew it could have been my last race if I didn’t.” 

With another chance to reach state, Fuentes expects to be ready for the region meet. 

“I didn’t feel anything (during the 1600-meter run),” Fuentes said. “I guess with adrenaline, you can’t feel anything. But I think I’ll be good at regionals and I’ll be ready to run.” 

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