AUSTIN, Texas (KTSM) – In his return trip to the UIL State Track & Field Championships, Horizon senior Ricardo Leyva accomplished a goal he felt he left on the table one year ago.
The top regional qualifier entering the Class 5A state high jump competition, Leyva leapt to a silver medal on Friday morning in Austin, with a best mark of 6’10. He finished second behind Corpus Christi Flower Bluff’s Bradford Jennings, who set the new 5A state record with a jump of 7’1.75.
“I’m super happy and super excited. I wanted to get on that podium and I did it,” Leyva said. “I didn’t hit my personal best, but I’m on that podium. I’m just super happy.”
A year ago, Leyva lamented the amount of misses he had in the event as a junior in 2022 that eventually kept him off the podium with a fourth-place finish.
As a senior, the North Texas signee was perfect on his first four jumps, leaping over the bar on his first attempt at 6’4, 6’6, 6’8 and 6’10. That helped secure him the silver medal after Bryan Rudder’s Nate Figgers also bowed out at 6’11 alongside Leyva, but had more misses and settled for bronze.
“That was the biggest part of it. I had to make sure I didn’t scratch anything. That was the plan the whole time, was to hit it perfectly all the way to 6’10 and that’s what I did,” Leyva said.
Leyva and his coach, Anthony Mata, then became spectators as Jennings broke the state record to cheers from around the stadium.
The Horizon senior will now head to North Texas to compete for the Mean Green a year from now.
“We were talking the last couple of weeks that 6’10 was the mark to get on the medal stand and that’s what happened. He rocked it out, no misses and that secured a second place medal,” said Mata.
Elsewhere in Friday’s morning events, Chapin senior Morgan Little finished in sixth place in the girls long jump with a mark of 18 feet, seven inches.
A San Jose State signee, Little will also compete in three events later tonight: the 5A girls 100 meters and then on two relays with Chapin’s 4×100 and 4×200 meter relay squads.
Elsewhere on the track on Friday night, Chapin’s Seth Truax will run the 5A 800 meters and the Parkland boys 4×200 meter relay team will compete in the 5A 4x200m relay.