Brownwood junior broke BHS girls 800 meters record March 18

With a district championship, regional championship and a berth in the UIL Class 4A Track and Field State Championships already to her credit, Brownwood Lady Lion junior Kyra Young recently added another accolade to her impressive resumé.

On March 18 at the Texas Distance Festival hosted by Southlake Carroll, Young established a new personal-best and Brownwood High School record in the girls 800 meters with a time of 2:18.24.

“I was expecting to try and beat it and whenever I was going off my first 200 I saw the timer and it said 30 seconds I was thinking 'I've got this,'” Young said. “Then whenever I was coming off the final stretch I was watching the timer and I knew I could get this, so I just kept running faster.”

Running in a field comprised mostly of Class 5A and 6A competition, Young placed fourth overall, just five seconds off the pace of winner Steffi Jones from Class 6A Plano (2:13.4).

As a freshman, Young won district in the 800 meters in a time of 2:29.77. After a second-place district finish as sophomore, Young rebounded at regionals with what was then a personal record of 2:19.96 to win the event. Competing at state a few weeks later, Young placed eighth in a time of 2:23.65 as the meet was delayed six hours by thunderstorms just as her race was about to begin.

Her state performance last year, coupled with Brownwood track and field head coach Don Hood's impending departure for LeTourneau University, has driven Young this season.

“I was hoping to (break the record) this year because I was really close last year,” Young said. “Since it's Coach's last year, I really wanted to do it for him and to medal at state for him. Plus, during your junior year is the time you start getting recruited, and if I can get my time down I have a better chance to get into a Division I school.”

Young is hoping to catch the eye of the Texas Tech track coaches, where she wants attend school. Young is targeting a time in the 2:15s, which Hood feels could put her in the mix for the 4A state title in May.

“I think by the state meet that could happen,” Hood said. “That's our goal time this year and to have a chance to win state, that's probably what she'll have to run. Our training is geared toward that goal time, so that's what I hope will happen.”

As for setting a new school record in the 800 meters, Hood believes Young has only scratched the surface of her potential.

“Kyra's only limitation is Kyra, I don't think she's nearly tapped out, “ Hood said. “She's not one to just dive into the deep end. She likes to stick her toe in and then get a little deeper and deeper. As she builds confidence with every time she runs hard, she sees that she's better than she thought she was. I know she knows deep down she could really be great, it's just a matter of letting herself get to that level. And as she opens those doors and knocks that barrier back, it's fun to see her believe in herself. The more that grows, the greater the potential is. Once her confidence rises to her ability level, she's going to be really hard to beat.”

The Lady Lions and Lions will compete in the Stephenville Optimist Relays Saturday, then take part in the District 5-4A meet at Abilene Wylie April 11-12.