For 28 straight seasons, Central High School track and field has sent an athlete to the TSSAA state championship meet. This year, Chloe Haggard and Macy Tabor will represent the Lady Raiders in Murfreesboro for the first time.
Both girls qualified for field events at sectionals on Friday, May 10. Tabor earned a spot in the high jump with a fourth-place finish at 4' 10". Haggard took fourth in pole vault with a 6' 6" height to punch her ticket.
Tabor's trip to states is the culmination of a goal she had all season for the event. In 2018, she came just short of the opportunity.
"Last year I was one spot away from going to state," Tabor explained. "So that was my goal this year to actually go to state for high jump."
The state meet will kick off on Wednesday, May 22. Tabor has stuck to her fundamentals in order to prepare for the competition.
"For me, obviously practicing high jump," Tabor said. "And doing my workouts that I do with it."
For Haggard, it was a surprise run to the state championship that even she didn't see coming. Now that she's in, Haggard is excited about getting the chance to post an even higher finish.
"I just started pole vaulting like two weeks ago," Haggard said. "I'm gonna try to get the form down a little better, maybe practice on better poles and get over something higher than my PR."
Tabor said that the secret to her success was sticking with high jump and improving year after year. She began competing in the event in middle school and was the first to admit it didn't come naturally for her.
Through the help of her coaches, she was able to post better results and get to where she is today.
"At first, honestly I wasn't even good at high jump," Tabor said. "I just kept practicing and coach Wanuch, he's an awesome coach and that's what pushed me to become better."
While Haggard's development with pole vaulting has been fast-paced, she said the support of her family and coaches allowed her to pick it up quickly.
"My family is always there to cheer me on, plus Coach [Wanuch] is pretty nice and we've got Mr. Peter Shelton helping us out and letting us use his pole vault pit," Haggard explained. "He's given us most of our pointers so I thank him for that because I would not know how to pole vault if it wasn't for him."
The girls had different paths that brought them to states in their respective events. One thing Tabor and Haggard are both excited for is the competition and the chance to learn more from who they face off against.
Regardless of their results, they felt accomplished just being able to qualify.
"It'll be crazy seeing all these really good people," Haggard said. "Even though we're there, even if we get last we're top 16 in the state so that's pretty cool.