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May 1, 2014

CLASS 2A STATE TRACK AND FIELD: Lady Dog leaping for gold

Allen heads to state track and field meet after first place finish in hurdles

EUSTACE — Eustace junior Madi Allen heads into her first state track and field meet with a determination that no one can match.

Allen finished first in the 300-meter hurdles at the Region II-2A meet on April 25-26 after running a time of 45.44.

“I was totally focused in the finals and that was my main thing to keep my eye on the prize,” Allen said. “My goal all season was to make it to state and be a regional champion.”

Allen said after making it to the regional meet the past three years, experiencing the site of Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas will be a special weekend.

“I knew what going to regionals felt like but I have never been in a position like I was this year,” Allen said. “It is a unique experience and I am ready for this feeling.”

Eustace girls track coach Cody Taylor said the race for the state title is very close.

“Actually all nine competitors are within a second of each other,” Taylor said. “It is one of the tightest races that I have seen down there in a long time.”

At the regional meet, Allen finished the race in 45.44 seconds. She comes into the state meet as the No. 6-ranked qualifier.

“There is no standout and there are no stranglers down there either,” Taylor said. “All nine girls could have a chance to pull this one out.”

Taylor said the No. 1-finisher in the state - Paige Fillmore from Elkhart - ran the race in 45.05 seconds.

“I have to keep working hard and that is the main thing this week and next week,” Allen said “This is my time to get faster and to drop more seconds than I already have.”

Allen said she is working with Taylor to improve her trail leg and making sure she is crisp on all elements of the hurdles.

“I need to work on the little things now and being fast and the conditioning is there,” Allen said. “I need to get all of the little things right and I think I am ready.”

With the string of state competitors continuing at Eustace, Taylor said the kids have bought in to the coaching staff.

“Honestly, it is something that the kids have taken ownership in at Eustace,” Taylor said. “They have fully bought into the fact that we are going to be successful in girls track.”

Taylor said with student athletes like Madi, the younger athletes are following her lead in hopes of continuing the tradition of Eustace track.

He said it has made his job easier in terms of leading the program in the right direction.

“I am not having to do a lot and Madi is a great leader here,” Taylor said. “Every workout is a 100-percent effort no matter what I make her do and that trickles down through the whole program.”

He said having Madi in his program has been a treat during her career.

“Madi is now the role model for the younger girls,” Taylor said. “The pressure has been taken off me tremendously because I have athletes like Madi.”

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