AP NEWS

Southwest thrower, Marion vaulter head the way on the first day

May 11, 2019

AUSTIN — The temperature rose moderately over the course of an unseasonably chilly day Friday at Myers Stadium.

The difference — about 10 degrees in the mid-60s — provided an ideal climate for Southwest junior Morgan Fey, who won the girls Class 5A discus at the UIL state championships.

It was Fey’s second medal after she was third in the shot put.

Fey claimed the state title in what she termed “ideal weather conditions for discus” with a mark of 137 feet, 9 inches, winning the event by nearly 4 feet.

Fey recorded her best toss on her final attempt.

“I knew that I had one left,” Fey said. “I thought I might as well put my heart into it.”

Fey fouled twice, but her four other throws went farther than the 134-0 mark from runner-up Daizy Monie of Mission Sharyland Pioneer.

Fey was short of the personal best (142-10) she tallied at the area meet, which also is the school record.

Her mother, Jo Ann Fey, an assistant superintendent at Southwest ISD who was the school’s previous record-holder, shouted instructions to her daughter from the stands.

One tip was particularly helpful after Fey fouled on her first attempt. She told Fey to stay level on her release. She recorded a 134-0 on her next throw and didn’t relinquish the lead.

“Now I’m a state champion, and now I have to compete my hardest every meet,” Fey said.

It was a perfect way to cap a two-medal day. Before winning discus Fey took bronze in the shot put with a 40-5¾ with temperatures in the mid-50s. She said it took her awhile to adjust to the weather and that it affected her legs early in the competition.

Fey settled in enough time to capture third place on her final try, surpassing Mission Veterans Memorial’s Charlee Salinas (40-2¾).

“I was happy that I wasn’t content where I was at and not taking fourth,” Fey said. “I’m glad I at least got a medal (in the shot put), and I hope to do better next year.”

Fey won two medals in her state debut. She nearly qualified for state last year when she was third in the shot put and fourth in the discus at regionals. Her 40-6 in the shot put was 6 inches away from a state-qualifying spot. In the discus, her 129-3 was less than 5 feet from state.

“It’s awesome,” Fey said. “To be able in my first year at state to place is amazing.”

Meanwhile, Marion junior Walker Rudasaile walked away with a gold medal and a goal for next season.

Rudasaile won the boys 3A pole vault with a 15-6, taking the event by 3 inches.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Rudasaile said. “The hard work, it really paid off in the end. I’m really excited right now.”

It was the culmination of a process that began last year when Rudasaile finished fifth at regionals and had a top mark of 14-0. He increased his vaulting practices to three times a week and built strength and speed through weight training.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Marion coach Myles Duelm said. “It’s certainly a testament to his hard work for the last four years in vaulting. It’s been a long time coming. After regionals last year, he’s gotten a lot stronger and a lot faster. He’s grown up.”

Rudasaile is now taking aim at 16-0. He missed on three attempts at it Friday. He’s fallen short at three other meets this season.

“I think 16 is one of the important numbers in a pole vaulter’s career,” Rudasaile said. “I look forward to getting there. I was hoping it would be today.”

Rudasaile competed at Myers Stadium for the second time this season. Six weeks ago, he cleared a personal best 15-9 in finishing second in the Section B pole vault at Texas Relays.

“Anytime you can come to a big stage like Mike Myers Stadium, and you get to compete in the environment that is Texas Relays, I think that gives you a little bit of a competitive advantage and the shock value isn’t there,” Duelm said.

Rudasaile agreed.

“It was a less than nerve-racking experience for me since I’ve already been here in this awesome facility,” Rudasaile said. “I was excited to be back.”

dhinojosa@express-news.net

Twitter: @hinojosa_david