AUSTIN – Taylor's Anna Cathryn Griffith is used to making history at the UIL state track and field meet.
In her two previous trips to Myers Stadium, Griffith broke the Class 4A record in the girls pole vault with clearances of 13-2½ and 13-3, respectively.
While she wasn't able to break her own record this time around, the senior still etched her name in state meet lore Saturday by becoming the second girl to win the event four years in a row.
Griffith achieved the feat with a clearance of 12-3, defeating runner-up Kaylee King of Wills Point by three inches.
"There are a lot of emotions right now just knowing that it was my last [state meet] and that I actually did it – I accomplished my goal of winning state four years in a row," Griffith said. "There's been a few tears shed but overall, it's a happy day."
Once she had the gold medal secured, Griffith set the bar to 13-5¼ in pursuit of another state record. While she came up short in three attempts, it only seemed to add fuel to her competitive fire.
"It's lit a fire under me and now that's what I want to go get," said Griffith, a Texas Tech signee. "When I get to college, that's my goal."
Griffith was one of three Ducks to strike gold Saturday at the state meet. Sophomore Tanner Welch soared to victory in the boys pole vault, and junior Dushon Orr won the boys long jump.
"I had one loss in the UIL this season and I wanted to make sure it stayed that way," Welch said with a laugh.
After a pair of pole malfunctions denied him victory at the regional meet last month in Kingsville, Welch was determined to get back on top of the podium.
Rainy conditions threatened to derail his quest for a gold medal, but with the help of a fellow vaulter, Welch kept his equipment dry and cleared 15 feet, three inches to secure his first state championship.
"At first it wasn't that bad because it was barely sprinkling," Welch said. "But as it got a little bit heavier, I actually designated one of the boys that I've been jumping with since area as my towel boy. He had a towel, so we were just taking that towel and putting it over the pole before I jumped to make sure there was no water on it."
Orr didn't let the elements affect him, either. He took the lead in the fourth round of the long jump with a mark of 22-4¾ and never relinquished it.
Sweeny's Justice Clemons came closest to unseating Orr at the top of the leaderboard, leaping 22-3¾ on his final attempt.
"To come out here and win a state championship is an amazing feeling," Orr said. "I didn't think about how wet the board was going to be or how wet the track was. I just went out there and jumped."
Later in the day, Orr added a pair of silver medals to his haul. He ran a 10.70 in the 100-meter dash and a 21.48 in the 200, finishing second in both races.
Griffith earned a silver medal in the 300-meter hurdles with a personal-record time of 44.46 seconds, and placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 17-11.
She finishes her decorated high school track career with six state medals.
As a team, Taylor placed third in the boys standings and ninth in the girls.
UIL State Track & Field Championships
Saturday, May 11
Myers Stadium – Austin, TX
100 M Dash
2. Dushon Orr – 10.70
200 M Dash
2. Dushon Orr – 21.48
1. Dushon Orr – 22' 4¾"
1. Tanner Welch – 15' 3"
Team Finish: 3rd (36 points)
300 M Hurdles
2. Anna Cathryn Griffith – 44.46
4. Anna Cathryn Griffith – 17' 11"
1. Anna Cathryn Griffith – 12' 3"
Team Finish: 9th (22 points)