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Fifteen months ago, Nish Robins‘ athletic career crumbled in a two-player pileup under the basketball goal at Pleasant Grove’s Hawk Gym. The three-sport star athlete was felled by a devastating knee injury that required surgery and a long rehab.
She tried to return to the volleyball court for her senior year, but had to bid that sport a tearful goodbye before the season ended to have follow-up surgery on the knee.
She returned to the basketball court for district play but limited mobility made her a shadow of her once promising self.
A return to track was completely out of the question for the former sprinter/quarter-miler. Luckily, the sport is called track and field, and it offered a new horizon for a star athlete whose competitive landscape had dimmed.
She picked up the 2.2-pound discus for the first time and started dabbling with the event’s unique requirements of coordinated footwork and upper-body strength. Robins had a good role model in sophomore teammate Tierra Yates, who owned the school record in the event with a throw of 120-11.
Robins notched a credible throw of 92-9 in her debut one month ago at the Wildcat Relays. She improved to a 102-1 at the District 13-3A meet, and won last week’s Area 13-14 meet with a 115-5.
But Friday’s 130-10 heave at the Region 2-3A championships at Texas A&M-Commerce was a jaw-dropper. It shattered Yates’ school mark by nearly 10 feet and puts Robins in prime position to earn a medal at the Class 3A state championships May 10 in Austin.
She became the first Paris athlete to punch a ticket to the state finals during Friday’s limited slate of field event finals, but it was not the only Paris notable accomplishment. Senior Brii Alexander broke her own school record in the girls pole vault with a 10-6 mark to finish fourth.
The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths in the state finals.
Running preliminaries were held Friday night with finals scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Paris has entries in the 200-meter dash (Josh Reynolds), both 4×100 meter relays, and the boys 4×200 meter relay. Brickey Reed also competes in boys shot put Saturday.
Reynolds is in the best condition to qualify for state in his specialty, the 200 meters. He won his heat in 21.97. His top challengers figure to be Blake Jourdan of Princeton (21.93) and Deshawn Davis of Celina (21.94).
The Cats’ sprint relay squad of Kenny Mason, Dren Rollerson, Za King, and Reynolds qualified in third place with a 42.54, just .01 behind heat winners Celina and Gilmer.
Completed Field Event Finals:
Running Prelims (top 8 finishers advance to finals)