BROWNSBORO — A school sending two athletes to the track and field meet is an outstanding accomplishment in itself.
To have both athletes be freshmen in the same event is even more impressive.
That’s the scenario at Brownsboro where Gekyle Baker and Khyra Garrett have both qualified for the state meet, which will begin Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas at Austin.
“There’s a lot of schools that do not have two representatives going down to Austin,” Brownsboro track coach Bret Botard said. “There are few, if any, that have two representatives going to Austin that are freshmen, so that’s a pretty special accomplishment for these two. Hopefully it’s just the beginning.”
Baker qualified for the state meet with a jump of 6 feet, 4 inches at the regional meet to take the gold.
That wasn’t Baker’s top jump, though.
“When we were at Atlanta, I jumped 6-6, and I was like I could probably go to state for this, so I wanted to keep on working hard and see what I could do.”
Now, Baker hopes to leap even higher when he competes at 9 a.m. Thursday in Austin.
“I want to try to get 6-8 at least,” Baker said.
Botard has seen what Baker can do and knows he will go compete.
“He’s a special kid and a special athlete,” Baker said. “He was kind of a blank canvas when he first came in, so to soak up everything and improve every week like he has this year has been pretty incredible. It takes a special young man to do that, which Gekyle certainly is.”
Garrett cleared a height of 5-2 at the regional meet to place third. It was the best height outside of the top two finishers across the state, earning Garrett the wild-card berth.
“I’m excited,” Garrett said. “I’m kind of nervous to go because I know there will be more experienced people than me there, but it will be fun to go out and see how everybody does and do the best I can.”
Garrett said her top jump this season and was 5-3 and that she is aiming for a height of 5-4 at state.
“She is a hard worker,” Botard said. “She has put in the time. When you put in the amount of work and effort that she has and with the God-given talent that he has been blessed with, you get a special kind of athlete, which I think she is presently and is only going to continue to grow throughout the rest of her career.”
Garrett will also compete at 9 a.m. Thursday.