As usual, Natalie Rathjen will lead Highland Park’s hopes of a gold medal at the UIL state track and field meet.
Rathjen earned the Class 4A Region II title in both the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters on Saturday, and will be among the favorites to win both events on May 9 in Austin. She took the 1,600 in 5:02.06, more than eight seconds ahead of Forney’s Caylon McMillan. In the 3,200, Rathjen’s time of 10:53 was more than 30 seconds ahead of McMillan in second.
It will be Rathjen’s fourth appearance at state, and her third time competing in both events. She won the 4A individual cross country title in the fall, but has never won a state title on the track.
Two other HP athletes will join Rathjen at state. Gabby Crank was the regional runner-up in the 800, finishing just 0.02 seconds behind Sarah Scott of Wylie East. On the boys side, Andrew Clyde was second in the shot put behind Red Oak’s Kevin Steward.