Lady Raiders competing at Texas Relays

Robert E. Lee tracksters qualified to compete in the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays this week in Austin. They are (from left) Mary Claire, Abby Halbrook, Sarah Emanuel, Brittany Browning, Kym Davis, Jade Palmer, Bre Payton and ShawNae Muhammad. (Herb Nygren Jr. | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Robert E. Lee girls track has won its last four meets. Next on the docket for eight members of the Lady Raiders team is a chance to test themselves against the best this state has to offer.

The 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays began Wednesday with collegiate competition. The high school starlets have their chance to shine, beginning Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

REL seniors Bre Payton, Kym Davis, Jade Palmer, ShawNae Muhammad, Abby Halbrook, juniors Brittany Browning and Sarah Emanuel, and freshman Mary Neal will all be in action.

"It is the most girls Lee has ever sent to the Texas Relays," said REL coach Kim Partain. "These girls have really stepped up this year and their hard work in the offseason and lifting in the weight room and cross country has really paid off.

"It's nice to see the girls reaping the benefits of that."

Payton is competing individually in the 100-meter hurdles and is part of the 4x100 and 4x200 relays with Browning running the 100-meter dash and will anchor the 4x100 and 4x200. Also on REL's 4x100 are Davis and Emanuel as the quartet looks to improve on their personal record time of 48.72.

Browning also recently set a PR of 12.18 in the 100 with Payton anxious to shave a tenth off her PR of 14.77 in the hurdles.

The same four runners in the 4x100 also line up for the 4x200 with a personal-best time of 1:44.51 that was set earlier this season at the Earl Campbell/Emma Barrett Relays at John Tyler.

REL is also competing in the 4x400 relay with Emanuel, Muhammad, Palmer and Davis. Partain said the group is focusing on improving with each opportunity.

"We have kind of had to tweak the 4x400 to get the right mixture," Partain said. "ShawNae and Jade have been very consistent, but our goal is to post a fast time this week in preparation for district."

Halbrook ran at regionals and state in cross country and is aiming for success now on the track in the mile with Neal one to watch also.

"Abby would really like to get some girls to bring her along and push her," Partain said. "Mary ran 5:17 at Tatum last weekend and she's just a freshman."



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