Sports and Outdoors
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takes 2nd at state
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMPKemp High School senior Sharda Bettis finished second in the Class 3A 100 meter hurdles Saturday at the state track meet, marking her fourth straight appearance at a state meet.
Bettis clocked 15.14 seconds to finish 0.25 second behind Longview Spring Hills Shelby Young, who won in 14.89 seconds.
Young and Bettis led a strong field, with just 1.17 seconds separating first place from sixth place.
In February, Bettis signed with Prairie View A&M University with the intent to train for a future Olympics bid under former three-time Olympic sprinter Angela Williams.
Bettis was disappointed with her time Saturday, having clocked a personal-best 14.2 earlier this spring.
I think this year was way different (than last year), Bettis said Tuesday. I had so much pressure on me, because I won last year. I think I kinda let that pressure get to me a little bit.
Finishing second doesnt detract from the fact Bettis has won state twice in her four years of high school (in Mississippi as a freshman and in Texas last year as a junior) with two top-10 finishes as a sophomore (fourth in the 100 hurdles and eighth in the 300 hurdles).
I dont think thats sunk in yet, she said. I feel disappointed in myself, and I think I let people down.
Bettis said her start cost her the race.
I didnt come out of my blocks as strong as I usually do, she said. I think thats where I fell behind.
She explained that she always tries to be the first one reaching the first hurdle after that, she can usually maintain her lead.
Last years gold medal win capped a particularly difficult year, with her father and her boyfriend dying about a month apart, and this year has also been difficult emotionally for the young (she turned 18 in March) senior.
Looking ahead to graduation, Sharda (pronounced Shar-DAY) said her situation is emotionally difficult, because shell have to leave the friends shes made in Kemp and her coach (girls coordinator Peggy Swierc) behind.
At the same time, I know that I have the opportunity to meet with a new coach and start a new journey, she said.
Bettis has no plans for graduation, but notes she wont be out partying.
I will be super excited to walk across the stage and get my diploma, after all the stuff Ive been through, she said.
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