VHS high jumper takes 2nd at state

Kyla Peeples of Vandegrift High School finished second and earned a silver medal with in the Class 6A high jump event, with a leap 5 feet, 8 inches, at the UIL State Track and Field Meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, on Friday, May 12, 2017.

Kyla Peeples with her silver medal and high jump coach Brady Ruiz.

Four Points News

Vandegrift’s Kyla Peeples used her experience from competing in the UIL State Track & Field meet last year to leap onto the medal stand this season.

The sophomore finished with a silver medal in the girls’ Class 6A high jump Friday afternoon, clearing a height of 5 feet, 6 inches. Northwest Nelson’s Sanaa Barnes finished at the same height but won the gold based on fewer misses.

“I’m so excited, I have no words,” Peeples said. “I didn’t know what to expect coming out here. My goal was to jump 5 feet, 8 inches and anything more would be great.”

She matched her winning height from both the area and regional meets, which is also her personal record.

“Both her event coach, Brady Ruiz, and I are very happy with the result and her season as a whole,” Vandegrift head coach Colin Sully said. “After winning the area and region competitions, Kyla came into the state meet with confidence and jumped like a seasoned veteran.”

Peeples had no trouble clearing the bar on her first two jumps of 5 feet, 2 inches and 5 feet, 4 inches, advancing after just one try. She needed one attempt before hitting the mark at the next two heights.

As a freshman last season, she jumped 5 feet, 4 inches in the state meet to finish in sixth place in Class 5A. But despite a jump up in classification, she used her experience to stay calm under pressure.

“This year I was more familiar with where my mark was and how to run up,” Peeples said. “I was more familiar with the techniques. Last year, I was just starting out and didn’t have that experience to back it up.”

Even this season, she had to battle through adversity as she was jumping for most of the season at less than 100 percent with tendinitis in her knee.

Had you asked Peeples if she’d have a silver medal at the end of the season before the year started and she would’ve laughed and said not a chance, but now there’s only one more spot for her to go next season.

“I’m looking forward to next year,” Peeples said. “Going to state last year gave me more experience. I felt more prepared, but I was still nervous of course. I came out here knowing what I had to do and I knew I’ve been here before.”