AUSTIN — Olivia Zint had mixed emotions after she finished running the Class 3A 800 on Saturday afternoon.
The Pottsboro senior had a better color medal hanging around her neck — silver — but she was upset about the fact that her chance at a state title came down to the final couple of strides in the race at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
“I’m glad I moved up a space,” Zint said. “It’s a good way to end my high school career. My ultimate goal was to get the school record.”
Zint held the lead for almost the entire race before Edinburg IDEA Quest’s Valery Thomas caught her in the final moments. Zint ended as the state runner-up at 2:13.64 while Thomas won with a near record time — just 0.02 off the pace — at 2:13.08.
Marlin’s Shania Ford, who finished sixth, pushed near the front of the race at the midway point and was neck and neck with Zint going into the final lap.
“That first lap was a lot faster than normal. It was 63 seconds. Normally that’s two seconds faster that what I usually run,” Zint said. “I felt like I was in a good spot. I didn’t really feel anybody. I guess it wasn’t fast enough because she got me at the end.”
Ford fell back as Zint widened the lead and held it entering the final 200 yards. Then Thomas came through with a big kick to pull out the state championship.
It was an improvement over her junior season when she finished in 2:17.52 and took the bronze, was 0.23 seconds and less than a second from gold. In trying to improve on that ending she jumped right to the lead to avoid a pack on the back stretch.
“My coach didn’t want me to get boxed in like last year,” Zint said.
It was the second straight year she competed in two events at the state meet.
Zint closed out the meet with a seventh-place finish in the 1,600 with a time of 5:25.26 after she was fourth in the race last spring. Blanco’s Johanna Villarreal won the race in 5:09.03.