EARLY — Early Lady Horn senior Tuesdi Tidwell will conclude her high school athletic career Friday with a fourth consecutive appearance at the UIL Track and Field State Championships. Meanwhile, Lady Horns freshman Trinity Tomlinson will be making what she hopes is the first of four straight trips in Austin during the month of May.
Tidwell will compete in the Class 3A girls pole vault at 5 p.m. Friday at the University of Texas’ Myers Stadium, where she will attempt to obtain a second medal after bringing home a silver her sophomore year.
“I’m a lot more excited this year than I have been in the past because I have a chance to get the (state) record, and that’s what my ultimate goal has been,” said Tidwell, who in April signed a national letter of intent to pole vault for Baylor.
Tomlinson will test her mettle against the state’s elite at 11 a.m. Friday in the 3A girls high jump.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Tomlinson said. “A lot of people told me I would make it but it’s actually happening now. It’s a sigh of relief because a lot of people were counting on me and it was very nerve racking.”
Tidwell finished second at the Region I-3A meet clearing a height of 12-0.
“I’m happy I qualified but I know I could have done better and I’m hoping to make it up at state,” Tidwell said.
Tidwell established a new personal record of 12-6 during the Comanche Relays on March 9, which is equal to the Class 3A girls state meet record. But Tidwell may be facing the most competitive field in her four state trips.
Joining Tidwell in the 3A girls pole vault will be Faith Roberson of Wall (12-6), Maren Garrett of Spearman (12-0), Kimberley Ortolon of Edna (11-9), Caroline Edwards of Garrison (11-3), Chloe Wall of Farmersville (11-0), Anna Foote of Sunnyvale (10-0), Madi Gawthorpe of Gateway (10-0) and Sutton Amthor of Bruceville-Eddy (10-0).
“There’s definitely some stiff competition,” Tidwell said. “This will probably be one of the best competitions that we’ve had in our classification. It all depends on who’s having a good day.”
As a freshman, Tidwell qualified for state in the pole vault and finished tied for sixth place, clearing a height of 11 feet. Her sophomore season, Tidwell earned a silver medal as she finished in a three-way tie for second, eclipsing 11-6. Last year as a junior, Tidwell matched her sophomore height of 11-6, which was good for fourth place.
As for potentially wrapping up her high school career with another state medal, Tidwell said, “It would mean a lot to me, especially if it was gold with a state record.”
While Tomlinson is making her first state appearance, it won’t be her first time to compete at Myers Stadium.
“I’m not sure (how it will feel),” Tomlinson said, “but I went to the Texas Relays and I feel like it will be like that.”
Tomlinson won the Region I-3A high jump crown clearing a height of 5-4. But the competition she will face in Austin may be even tighter than the pole vault.
Among the state qualifiers are Lauren Purdom of Whitesboro (5-5), Alexia Wherry of De Kalb (5-5), Nikaya Neal of George West (5-4), Kelli Silcox of Winnie East Chambers (5-4), Jillian Terry of Edinburg (5-3), Valery Tobias of Edinburg (5-3), Macee Krpec of Altair Rice (5-3) and Jacey Cate of Boyd (5-2).
“We’re all really tight in our height, it’s just a matter of good days and bad days,” Tomlinson said. “You have to go out there with a positive attitude and give it all you got.”
And if she were able to bring a medal back home to Early as a freshman?
“I’d be very blessed and very thankful,” Tomlinson said.