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Thursday, March 26, 2009
Recognize Dallas/Ft Worth

ESPN RISE Magazine

Girls' Track - Saginaw


Donique' Flemings won the 300 hurdles at last year's Region I-4A meet in 42.12 seconds, more than a second faster than the previous meet record. It was the most breathtaking performance of the day, and one that put the Rough Riders in position to claim the team title later in the meet. Saginaw trailed Dunbar by 14 points entering the meet's final event  the 4x400 relay  and needed a first- or second-place finish to pull out the victory. So less than an hour after she took the audience's breath away, Flemings became a member of the audience and rooted on the foursome of Destiny Lumas, Erica Lewis, Theresa Sue and Melissa Patterson. Saginaw won the relay by nearly five seconds to score 20 points and shoot up the standings into the top spot to win the regional title. From there, Flemings went on to win the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles at the Class 4A state meet and was later named the 2008 Gatorade State Girls' Track Athlete of the Year. Lumas, Lewis, Sue and Patterson also had success at state, taking silver in the 4x400. As a team, Saginaw ended up finishing third overall. Flemings is back this season and is rated the nation's No. 7 girls' track athlete in the ESPNU DyeStat recruit rankings. Lumas has moved on to run at Texas, but Lewis, Sue and Patterson are also back to help the Rough Riders defend their regional crown and improve on their third-place showing at state.

Girls' Swimming - Highland Park


The Scots raised the bar for girls' swimming this decade, winning eight consecutive Class 4A state championships entering the 2008-09 season. By winning a ninth straight title this winter, Highland Park raised the bar for all teams in Texas. No U.I.L. school had ever won nine consecutive titles in any sport before the Scots outdistanced Montgomery by 85 points on Feb. 28. Junior Allison Arnold earned Swimmer of the Year honors with two individual titles and two relay victories.

Wrestling - Allen


The Eagles didn't back away from a challenge all season, and the result was a historic year. Allen won the Dual State tournament and placed second at the U.I.L. state tournament, tremendous performances that were spurred on by the team's willingness to face the best competition. The Eagles participated in meets in Virginia, Arizona and Oklahoma during the regular season, giving them a leg up later in the year. Junior Alex LeGrande led the team all year, and he was the only Allen wrestler to win an individual state title.

Boys' Basketball - Trinity Christian


The Trojans lost twice to Prestonwood Christian during the regular season, but they came through when it mattered most. Led by 37 points from Preston Branson, the Trojans upended Prestonwood, 64-50, on Feb. 28 to claim the TAPPS Class 5A state title. Branson, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, scored at least 25 points in each of the team's four playoff victories. Senior forward Evan Burris had a pair of big playoff games as well, dropping 19 against Beaumont Kelly in a first-round win and 17 against Austin St. Michael's in the state semifinals.

BREAK OUT TEAMS

BASEBALL  WYLIE The Pirates are in great shape with Texas A&M recruit Jake Feckley anchoring the pitching staff. GIRLS' GOLF  CARROLLTON CREEKVIEW Sophomores Jennifer Park and April McCoy look to propel the Mustangs to state. BOYS' TRACK  WAXAHACHIE Versatile senior Sam Gagliano hopes to lead the Indians into Class 4A contention. SOFTBALL  ROWLETT Junior ace Brianna Rodriguez is back after leading all area Class 5A pitchers with a 0.51 ERA last season.