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Track and field

Aledo athletes seeking medals and more


A year ago Taylor Hindman and Lauren St. Peters, both seniors, realized a dream of medaling at the Class 5A State Track and Field Meet. Now, they are back in Austin with dreams of an even shinier medal.

Hindman brought home silver, finishing second in the pole vault at state. St. Peters captured a bronze in the shot put.

This will be the third consecutive season for them to compete in those events when they enter Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas. In fact, for St. Peters it will be the second time she's competing two events, as she was fourth in both the shot put and discus as a sophomore.

Hindman tied for seventh as a sophomore.

The two will be joined by fellow returner Sofia Brandenburg, a sophomore, who is back in the 800. 

“I believe that all of these girls will do great things at state. They have all worked very hard and battled all season long, and the best is yet to come for all of them,” Ladycats coach Mike Pinkerton said. “All of them are peaking at the right time”.

Also, junior Braylon Brown of the Bearcats will be making his state debut in the pole vault. 

St. Peters

St. Peters enters as the No. 1 seed in the shot put with her school-record of 49 feet at the Class 5A Region I Meet in Lubbock on April 19. It's almost farther than No. 2 seed Madaleine Fey of Killeen Chaparral, 45-11.75 feet.

Fey placed second last season, throwing 47-10 to 46-4 for St. Peters.

St. Peters comes in seeded third in the discus with a throw of 154-11 at regionals. Defending state champion Fey has the top-seeded throw of 160-01 and Denton Ryan's Olamide Ayeni is next at 158-09.

However, all have longer throws to their credit. Fey threw 175-08 to win state last season at Midlothian and had a career-best of 182-04 at regionals in 2023. Ayeni has a top throw of 165-06 and St. Peters recorded 172-04 in a meet at Northwest High School this season.

“There is the possibility she could walk away with 2 titles this year. She is putting up some of her best throws at the end of the season,” Pinkerton said.


Hindman comes in as the No. 3 seed with a top vault of 12-06, matching the height she cleared at state in 2023. She cleared a career-best and school-record 12-07 in a meet at Weatherford earlier this season.

Ella Pickron of Smithson Valley and Gregory-Portland's Madison Snody share the top seed with a regional vault of 13-0. It's a career best for Pickron, while Snody cleared 13-07.5 at her district meet this season.

Pickron was fifth in the state last season, while Snody was fifth at state in 2022 but did not reach Austin in 2023.

“I believe she is primed to set a new school record at the state meet,” Pinkerton said of Hindman. “That will put her in the mix for a state championship.”

Brown is, likewise, in a crowded field. His vault of 15-03 is tied for the No. 3 seed. Sharing the top seed are Caden O'Hara of Leander Rouse and Ryder Harrison of Gregory-Portland, each at 15-06.

Right behind are three other vaulters at 15-0.

Brown had a career-best vault of 15-06 at the Joshua Owl Relays earlier this season.

For Brown, this season has been a triumphant return after missing most of 2023 with an injury, prompting Aledo pole vaulting coach John Rhodes to say, "He is walking on Cloud 9 now." 

"Both kids are super excited about winning regionals and qualifying for state. I feel they both have an excellent chance to bring home a medal and that’s our goal," Rhodes added.

Bearcats coach Andrew Clark praised Rhodes’ vaulting program and Brown’s rise during the season.

"Braylon has just as good of a chance as anyone in the competition to win it all, that fact that he has vaulted with very talented vaulters everyday for the last three years is a huge advantage for him," Bearcats coach Andrew Clark said. "He wasn’t even the top performing vaulter in our program until about three or four weeks ago, and that title went back and forth for a few weeks between him and Brad. 

"He shows up to practice, and there is always a teammate there, who is also someone he has to compete against every week, just as good as him. It requires him not to just perform at meets, but also at practice. Every vault he takes, be it practice or competition, has huge implications.  

"That’s the program coach Rhodes has built here in Aledo. I could argue that the vault program here is just as dominant year-in and year-out as the football program. You better come ready to compete when they show up!" 



While Brandenburg comes in seeded ninth with her regional time of 2 minutes, 16.75 seconds, that's a bit deceiving. First, it was posted in legendary West Texas weather in Lubbock.

Also, her career-best time of 2:13.32 was posted at state last season when she finished fifth.

Isabel Conde De Frankenburg of Cedar Park has the top-seeded time of 2:09.32. She's followed by three-time defending state champion Kailey Littlefield of Lucas Lovejoy at 2:09.56 and Boerne Champion's Elizabeth Leachman at 2:09.90.

De Frankenburg finished second at state in 2021 and 2022, but did not compete at district or beyond in 2023. This is the first season for Leachman, a sophomore, to compete in the 800.

“State is where she ran her best time last year. I have no doubt she will do that again to place well,” Pinkerton said.


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