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The state meet in Austin represents the pinnacle for high school track and field athletes. And for Callie Sandusky of Highland, it will be a chance to end her two-sport career by bringing home a state medal.
Sandusky, a senior, will be making her first state appearance when she com-petes in the Class 1A girls high jump at 6 p.m. Friday. She qualified with a second-place jump of 5-4 at regionals, a personal best effort that tied Highlandâ€™s school record set in 1984 by Brandye (Owens) Wilson, now a teacher at Highland.
A similar effort on Friday might be enough to earn a state medal. Only Kami Norton of Albany, who won at regionals with a leap of 5-6, has a better qualifying jump among the nine athletes in the field.
The 6-2 Sandusky is best known for her basketball accomplishments. This past year, she helped the Lady Hornets advance all the way to the Region II-A, Division II semifinals. She was named the districtâ€™s defensive player of the year after averaging 14.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 5.9 blocks as a senior, and hopes to continue playing at Lubbock Christian University after her high school graduation, where she will be her senior class valedictorian.
But for now her attention is focused on Austin and doing her best this week. â€śIâ€™ve never been to the state meet before and Iâ€™m pretty excited,â€ť she said. â€śIâ€™m a little nervous, but I just want to go up there and compete the best that I can.â€ť
As far as her personal highlights, Sandusky said this ranks pretty high, but not quite as high as basket-ball, where she was a four-year starter whose teams made it to the playoffs each year â€” even though they had a different coach the past three years.
Ryan Dollar, Sanduskyâ€™s current coach in basketball and track, said she has a good chance at winning a state medal in the high jump Friday in Austin. â€śIt just depends on who has a good day and who doesnâ€™t,â€ť he said.
â€ś(Callie) is one of those kids you love to have be-cause you tell her to do something, and she does it. She just goes about her business as quiet as can be.â€ť
Of course, breaking the school record this week would be a nice addition to winning her first state medal. â€śIf I can clear 5-6, I have a pretty good chance at a medal,â€ť said Sandusky.
â€śI donâ€™t know if I can do it, but coach Dollar thinks I can. To break the record will be my goal.â€ť