Texas Relays roundup: Justin Northwest’s Desiree Freier sets national pole vault record, Keller, Lancaster win in relays

Midway through the final day of the Texas Relays, all eyes at Mike A. Myers Stadium turned to Justin Northwest’s Desiree Freier at the pole vault in the northwest corner of the packed venue.

With the spotlight on her, the 5-foot senior soared 14 feet, 3 ¼ inches, setting a national high school record.

“It’s pretty exciting. My goal was to come out here and break the national record,” Freier said. “I was very fortunate to do it. This is one of my favorite places to jump. The crowd is amazing here. They’re always cheering you on, and it’s a blast.”

She cleared the record-setting height in one try, passing the 14-2 ¾ mark set in 2011 by Morgann LeLeux from New Iberia, La. Freier then set the bar at 14-6 but couldn’t improve on her mark.

Freier entered the meet as the Texas state record holder in the event, which she set with a vault of 13-9 at the 2013 UIL state meet in Austin. This winter she set the indoor high school record, sailing 14-2 ¾ at the New Balance Nationals in New York City.

“I just want to PR [set a personal record] at every meet,” she said. “I don’t really go for the gold, I just go for the next height and then the next height.”

Freier didn’t have too much competition at the Texas Relays with the next-best vault coming at 13-5 ¼.

Blunt wins 3,200: Frisco Heritage sophomore Carter Blunt’s plan was to run with the pack in 3,200-meter race before making his move with 800 meters remaining.

“It’s a very talented field. The goal was to let them do their work and fight each other while I just conserved my energy,” Blunt said. “Then to just give it all I had.”

His strategy paid off, and Blunt surged ahead of the pack in the seventh lap. He then cruised to a first-place finish in 9 minutes, 6.35 seconds.

It was Blunt’s second-best run of the season, and he said the first-place finish was an exclamation point on a “great experience” at the 87 Texas Relays.

“Yesterday we got to watch some of the pros and college athletes, so that was pretty fun,” he said. “I was taking note of what they did and what they do [to compete].”

In the girls 3,200-meter race, Flower Mound junior Safiya Belbina finished third with a school-record time of 10:33.76.

Rapid relays: The Lancaster team of Reggie Garner, Gabriel Walker, Elijah Boyd, and Keenan Ivy won the high school boys Division II 400-meter relay in 41.12 seconds, just crossing the line before second-place DeSoto.

It was one of the fastest high school races of the Texas Relays, with the top six teams each clocking in at 42 seconds or faster.

Lancaster also won the boys 1,600-meter relay in a time of 3:14.11.

Earlier, the Keller relay team of Derek Gutierrez, Lawson Belcher, Jake McConnell and Austen Dalquist won the boys 3,200-meter relay team in 7:49.52.

Keller led for most of the race, and Dalquist crossed the line 3.03 seconds before Justin Northwest, which finished second in 7:52.55. Flower Mound finished third with a time of 7:56.27.


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