AUSTIN — It took until her senior year for Tamaya Tutson to find her fit on the track. And she made the most of the opportunity after switching to running the 400 as she closed out her high school career as the runner-up at the Class 4A state meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Tutson won the silver medal with a time of 57.59 seconds, behind champion Danika Washington of Fort Worth Benbrook at 57.08 seconds.
She finished just ahead of Robinson’s Jordan Anglin (57.85) and Waxahachie Life’s Jayda Jones (57.94).
“It really means a lot to me. I’ve worked really hard to make it this far,” she said. “Being down here I had to leave it all on the track.”
The opportunity to compete with the best in the state came after she decided to move away from 100 and 200 meter dashes following her junior season. As a member of the Lady Coyotes mile relay her entire high school, Tutson had times that were in the range of those good enough to advance past the regional meet.
“I wouldn’t have had a chance in the 100 or the 200,” she said. “I was a good 400 runner. I knew that I would have to work hard to have a chance to make it.”
Tutson was near the front of the pack going to the final 200 meters with everyone trying to run down Washington, who had established the early lead. But Tutson also had to contend with the competition looking to knock her down the final standings as they approached the finish line.
“I felt her coming on the last 50 (meters). I knew I had to hold it and give my all and get at least second place,” Tutson said.
Even though she entered the race in position to earn a medal, Tutson wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“I knew that some of the times coming in were close and anybody had a chance to get the medal I wanted as well,” she said.