EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to include results from the pole vault, which were not made available Thursday night after the District 5-6A meet.
LITTLE ELM — Brynn Brown had to take a few minutes to compose herself on Thursday night.
The Guyer senior, who typically dominates every event she competes in, had just come in second place in the 800 meters — which is not one of her usual races. Brown was upset with the finish, even though she only lost by less than two seconds.
But the North Carolina signee knew she had to find a way to use that frustration to help her in her final event of the evening.
“I had to go to [Guyer cross country coach Jonathan] Ponsonby before my mile race,” Brown said. “I had gone away and digressed for a little bit. After the race, I was quite angry, but he was like, ‘You can’t run with that anger in the mile because you’re going to go out too hard, and it won’t be a smart race.’ I channeled that anger a little bit because I knew I needed to get those 10 points for my team.”
And Brown had no trouble doing that.
Brown pulled away early and built a massive lead in the 1,600 meters, cruising to a first-place finish that helped the Guyer Lady Wildcats win the District 5-6A title. Brown clocked a whopping 4:46.10, winning the race by more than 15 seconds.
“She’s just a cool kid all the way around,” Guyer coach Megan Sprabeary said of Brown. “Her work ethic, how much she loves her team, the intensity she brings to anything she does — there aren’t many kids out there like her. You hope she’s not a once-in-a-lifetime kid, because you hope you have another one, but she’s special. We are very blessed to have her and gotten to watch her over the last four years.”
While Brown was spectacular in the 1,600 and the 3,200 meters on Wednesday, she was just a piece of a complete team effort from the Lady Wildcats. Guyer finished with an impressive 180 points.
In total, the Lady Wildcats had 10 individuals advance to area by placing in the top four, including all three of their relay teams in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400. Brown advanced to area in three events (the 800, 1,600 and 3,200) while teammate Candace Mongo qualified in four individually (100, 200, triple jump and long jump). Mongo also advanced with Guyer’s 4x100 team.
Emma Alvord qualified for area in the 200 and 400.
“That’s the goal going into every season — to get that district championship,” Brown said. “That means the world to me, but there were so many girls out there that gave it their all today. Emma killed it. Bri killed it. All those key pieces did what they needed to do today. I’m really proud of them and the team.”
Guyer’s girls individual qualifiers included Brown, Mongo, Alvord, Abigail Spencer, Grace Candeloro, Sophia Day, Catherine Burke, Brynnan Campbell, Mikyla Jamison and Brenna Stell, who finished third in the pole vault, clearing 11-0.
Sprabeary said Thursday’s results were even sweeter given the way the Lady Wildcats’ 2020 season ended. Guyer never got a chance to compete at the district meet due its season being eventually canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After a year of disappointment with COVID, [our] season ending and [having] opportunities taken away from these girls, the chance to get out here and compete in a tough district against tough opponents and come out on top by a good margin, I don’t know how you make this year any better,” Sprabeary said.
The Braswell Lady Bengals’ area qualifiers were Cailyn Milner in the 300-meter hurdles and Angel Edwards in the triple jump.
On the boys side, Guyer finished fourth with 66 points. The Wildcats had five individuals qualify for area in Eta Tako, Landon Sides, Knox Boyd, Jake Dorrell and Preston Duesing.
Duesing won the 1,600 meters, turning in a time of 4:24.96. Guyer’s 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays also advanced to area.
Braswell, meanwhile, had five individuals move on to the area meet. Sean Mapuke, Cam Smith, Jason Carter, Marcell Wilson and Austin Kiser will all compete in the area championships, as well as the Bengals’ 4x100 team.
Kiser won the 110 and 300 hurdles, clocking times of 14.75 and 39.64 seconds, respectively.