A sophomore sprinter stunned her coaches and shocked the field.
Essence Brewer won the 200-meter sprint, took third in the 400 and fourth in the 100 at the MSHSAA state track championships on Saturday in Jefferson City.
She was ranked seventh in the 200, but led the whole way, according to coach Cheryl Carmon.
“It was beautiful,” Carmon said. “I expected a top three, but for her to win first by so much–it wasn’t even close–was impressive. She went out and just got it.”
Carmon said Brewer set new school records and personal records in all three races. In the 200 she dropped her personal best by half a second. She also missed the state record by nine hundredths of a second.
The state record was 25 and 5 hundredths of a second. Brewer ran her’s in in 25.14.
She hopes to get her time into the 24-second range this summer, in summer track, and into the 23-second range by next year’s state meet.
Brewer said she encouraged herself when she got onto the starting blocks for the 200.
“I told myself, ‘drive,’” she said. “I told myself to be the state champion, and maintain and drive. I encouraged myself, because I had to feel like I could do in, in my heart.”
Brewer loves the competition.
“You have to have that speed,” she said. “You can have endurance every once in a while, but being able to run those sprints, you have to push yourself to the limit, and you have to block out anything around you, and you can’t be focused on anyone else.”
Boys track coach Brandon Gregory said she had distractions to fight through this year.
“She handled adversity and did what her coaches asked her to do,” he said. “This is one of those things where you tell kids listen to me, do right, and this can happen. She made the most of her opportunity.”