A little more daylight for these Cowboys and Cowgirls


Josh Campbell

Coppell girls track and field poses with their 3rd place trophy following the District 6-6A/ 5-6A Area Track and Field Meet. Coppell qualified seven girls to regionals and set both a school and personal record.

Sahith Mocharla, Staff Writer

As the sun was setting on the District 6-6A/ 5-6A Area Track and Field Meet on Friday at Buddy Echols Field, it also seemed to be setting on one senior’s career. The raucous crowd was holding its breath as the meters petered on, each runner lunging, leaping, diving forward as fast as their legs could push off the track, ever desperately hoping to get to their teammates before the girls next to them. 

Coppell freshman Sophia Williams put everything into her final few seconds and handed the baton off to her last hope.

“Before I get on the line to take the handoff, Coach Wren’s saying ‘we’re gonna be in it and you’re gonna have to fight,” Coppell senior Waverly Hassman said. “I didn’t make it out in the 400-meter so I knew this was my last shot to make it to regionals again – like sophomore year – it just empowers you to run faster, I did not want this to be my last race I did not want it to end. I love this track, but I didn’t want it to end on this track, I’m ready to go to regionals.”

Only the top four finishers from every event qualify for regionals, and Hassman seemingly had her shot, and missed, finishing sixth in the 400-meter dash. With her career on the line she grabbed the baton from Williams in sixth place, putting her head down and fighting her way forward through the scrum of bodies, emerging 50 seconds later, head up, crowd cheering, teammates crying, audience in disbelief. 

A new personal record, a seven second improvement, and a whole new team going to regionals in second place.

“I was happy about what Sky, Megan and Ainsley had done to put us where we were – I was happy going into the girls 4×400-meter run – I knew it’d be tough to get a whole lot of other groups out,” Coppell girls coach Landon Wren said. “Coming into this meet we had the eighth fastest time out of eight teams, the worst lane you could be in, and those four girls just ran like they were capable of running. They just hadn’t run like that yet this year, we ended up seven seconds faster than our fastest time – setting a new PR and finishing second and now we get to go to regionals. I’m just so excited for them.”

It was a race to cap off a stunningly successful meet for Coppell, qualifying 17 athletes to this week’s regional meet at UT Arlington where only the two highest finishers go on to compete at state.

“It’s huge for the program because we have some kids that’ll be moving on after this year, we’ve got some younger kids for whom this experience is going to serve as well, so it’s incredible,” Coppell boys coach Eric Hill said. “Then we get a chance to take those kids to regionals, then hopefully state.”

The girls 4×400-Meter at 3:53.00 wasn’t the only record breaking performance by Coppell, with a new school record set by the boys 4×200-Meter team at 1:27.36.

“Will and I have been in the 4×200-Meter all year and we’ve been working for this,” Coppell senior Nick Searight said. “But at the end of the day we all thought we could run faster so we’re gonna go out and break the school record again next week and go to state. This is what senior year is about, succeeding on this level, but you can’t describe the feeling when you’re out here competing every single day.”

Coppell senior Sky Schuller also broke her own school record in the pole vault at 14’1”, 

“Sky was amazing in the pole vault, and it’s important to have people like her on the team.” Coppell senior Megan Judd said. “For me seeing the girls last year be so competitive it set those tangible goals for me so I think it’s great that this year’s group was so successful to set an example for next year.” 

Coppell finished third place overall  in both boys and girls events.

“We really are, and I know it’s cliche, a family,” Wren said. “We’re out here since august working together in the heat, in the cold, and they always have each other’s back so when one person/group accomplishes something, we’re all accomplishing something and we’re all happy for them. We’re all in this together and it shows when you see the entire girls team racing down the sideline cheering each runner on.”

The sun hasn’t set on Coppell’s season yet, it’s looking to keep shining at regionals and on to state.

Follow Sahith Mocharla (@SahithMocharla) and @SidekickSports on Twitter.