MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Soon after scoring a decisive run in Baylor's 4-3 softball victory Wednesday over rival GPS, Makayla Packer switched uniforms and raced over to the Division II-AA state track and field meet.
With fresh but faded streaks of eye-black still on her face, Packer was able to repeat as the 200-meter state champion by a comfortable margin.
"This morning I had an all-out softball mindset," said Packer, an Auburn softball commitment. "Once I got to the track I had to push myself and keep God first. I prayed for him to give me the strength to give my best work."
Packer's best turned into a blur as she finished the 200 in 25.08 seconds.
After Packer was edged out in the 100 by Lipscomb Academy standout Mikele Vickers, she turned a letdown into an extra drive for her team in the 4x100 relay and the 200.
"I was upset with myself after the 100, but I am glad the other runner pushed me so I can see what I need to be better at so I can win it next year," Packer said. "It lit a fire in me to go harder."
Baylor's girls finished with a total of 76 points for fourth place. Ensworth won with 162.
Packer has a pair of school records, which will be hard to beat with an 11.68 100 and a 24.64 200 from last season, when she swept both competitions at the Spring Fling.
Looking up to her mother who used to run track for the Chattanooga Jets, the all-state speedster hopes to have plenty left in the tank to lift the Lady Red Raiders to their fifth straight softball championship.
"I want a GPS rematch," Packer said with a smile. "Another rivalry game that we want to finish a state-title run out on. Softball will always be my number one, but track is my second and something I love as well."
Also winning a state championship for Baylor was pole vaulter Jack Holcombe, who cleared 13 feet, 6 inches on his final attempt to lock in the gold medal.
Meanwhile, McCallie finished fourth as a team with 109.5 points. Brentwood Academy won its 25th team title with 151.
The Blue Tornado received state championship finishes from Quindarius Dunnigan and Samuel Ligon. Dunnigan repeated in the discus with a winning throw of 154 feet, 8 inches. The distance was 3 feet off a school record.
Ligon won the 1600-meter race in 4:24.08 as he held on in a tight finish against a Brentwood Academy runner.
"With my coaches pushing me and friends cheering me on, it was a dream come true to climb the top spot on the podium," Ligon said. "I am really grateful for how great this season went and can't wait to run again next year."
Chattanooga Christian's Jack Cottrell finished second in the 3200, and his 9:52.53 finish was 25 seconds better than his personal record.
Laura Beth Turner was second in the 800 for the Lady Chargers with a time of 2:24.79.