Centennial's Anderson makes history
Savoria Anderson's goals were simple competing in the triple jump at Friday’s UIL Class 5A State Track and Field Championships.
The Centennial freshman was hoping to medal and also break her mother’s high school personal best distance in the event.
Anderson achieved both goals and made Centennial history along the way finishing second thanks to an effort of 39 feet, 3.75 inches on her final attempt. That made her the first student-athlete from Centennial to medal in track and field.
On that attempt, Anderson followed advice from her coach Rita Kellum and it paid off in a silver medal.
The advice was to look up.
“On my third phase when I’m jumping into the sand I always look down at the sand but that time I looked up and it helped me go further,” Anderson said. “It felt good.”
Anderson topped her mother’s high school mark of 38-10 with a leap of 38-11.5 on her third attempt.
“At first she didn’t realize she beat my record and then her coach told her and after her forth jumped she pointed at me and said, “I got you mama” and I told her ‘yes you did,’ her mother Monica Taylor Anderson said.
Mother and daughter shared a hug after the competition. It was an early Mother’s Day present for Monica Taylor Anderson who was a track and field star at Killeen Ellison and finished second three times at state in the triple jump.
Anderson said her mom told her not to cry but the tears flowed. There was no holding back the emotion.
“She broke down in my arms and we cried together,” Monica Taylor Anderson said.
Anderson admitted to being a little awestruck by the size of the crowd at the University of Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium. But she followed the advice her mother and coach Kellum gave her.
Her mom told her to think of it as any other meet.
“My coach told me it was my freshman year and just do my best and that’s what I did,” Anderson said. “At first I was nervous because it was the state track meet and I was going to be jumping against a bunch of good people. I was really nervous at first. There were a lot of people watching. That’s what had me nervous that I didn’t want to mess up.“
Anderson didn’t mess up at all. In fact, she didn’t commit a foul on any of her six attempts.
“It was pretty amazing considering where she started physically, emotionally and mentally,” Centennial girls track coach Sarah Eden said. “Just from district to state, she grew up a lot as far as how to handle things. She was obviously very nervous. But she didn’t show it. She listened to what coach Kellum said and was pretty impressive.”
Mansfield Lake Ridge junior Jasmine Moore easily won the state title with a Class 5A-record effort of 45-4.75. Royse City sophomore Kayla Hutchins placed third with an effort of 39-3.25 giving Region II medal sweep.
Anderson finished third at the Region II championships behind Moore and Hutchins.
Heading into her sophomore season, Anderson is keeping her goals simple.
She just wants to qualify for state as a sophomore.