AUSTIN — The last throw of Jada Redd’s career was the one she needed the most. It was the one that, by just a few inches, earned her a spot on the podium.
Redd uncorked the toss which earned her a bronze medal in the Class 2A shot put at Mike A. Myers Stadium just moments after she had been knocked down to fourth.
“On my last throw, I knew it was the last one of my senior year and I had to make it count,” she said. “It wasn’t my best throw but it got me a medal.”
Her effort of 37 feet, 11 and three quarters inches took third over Panhandle’s Bree Baker, who had a chance to leapfrog Redd on her final throw at 37 feet, nine and a quarter inches.
Seagraves’ Sirena Minjarez won the state title at 39 feet, 10 and a quarter inches. Panhandle’s Brooklyn Tompkins was second at 39 feet, five inches.
Redd was fifth at state last year and said the experience paid off this time around.
“It helped a lot,” she said. “Last year I was nervous, didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t as nervous coming in this time.”
After being the Region II runner-up to Seymour’s Randi Peters, who finished fifth at state with a throw of 36 feet, five and a half inches, Redd saw three qualifying throws over 40 feet ahead of her best effort — which was 38 feet, three inches — and a fight would be needed to get in the mix.
But early on Friday morning, she sensed an opportunity was coming available.
“When I was looking, I knew I had to work hard,” Redd said. “I saw some people were off today but I still had to perform.”
She jumped into second place after her first throw, behind only Minjarez, but then Tompkins bumped her down a slot on the final throw of the prelims.
“I was third going into the finals and I had to keep my spot,” Redd said.
Her ability to do just that meant a final flourish to her career.