After an impressive debut season at the high school level, Godley freshman Taylor McFarland was recently selected to the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 4A All-State Track Team.
The TGCA selects all-state teams in track and field in conferences 1A through 6A as athletes are nominated by member coaches and selected by the TGCA Track All-State Committee at their annual meeting during the UIL state track meet. A maximum of 40 athletes per classification may be selected for the TGCA All-State Team, and the Lady Cats’ standout freshman made the cut.
“I’m very proud,” McFarland said. “It’s a great honor that I never expected.”
Receiving all-state honors was something McFarland never expected as a freshman, she said.
“My original goal was to qualify for the regional track meet,” she said. “Once I made it to regionals, my goal was to get on the podium. I never imagined I would have made it to state this season.”
But qualify for state, she did.
McFarland placed second in the 100-meter hurdles at the Class 4A Region I meet with a personal-best time of 15.43 seconds to advance to the UIL state track meet. McFarland also posted a personal record in the 400-meter run at regionals with a time of 59.5 seconds but just finished qualifying for state with a fourth-place finish.
At the state meet, McFarland finished a respectable eighth place with a time of 15.63 seconds.
Throughout the season, McFarland garnered numerous top-5 finishes as well as a number of first-place finishes in the 400-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles as well as a couple of top finishes in the triple jump.
At the District 7-4A meet, McFarland secured a pair of silver medals with second-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.67 seconds and the 400-meter dash at 59.54 seconds.
While accomplishing such great things as a freshman, McFarland is determined to improve moving forward.
“I really hope to see my times continue to improve,” she said. “I want to improve on my performance in the 400. Now that I have had the chance to experience the state track meet, I want to go back and medal at state.”
McFarland started running with a track club called Top Speed in the summer after her sixth-grade year. She started her running career as a long-distance and cross country runner before adding the hurdles and 400-meter run to her plate a couple years ago.
Godley Coach Keith McFarland, also Taylor’s father, said he’s beyond proud of what she accomplished this year, both as her father and as a coach.
“As her dad, she’s my pride and joy to watch,” he said. “For me to say I’m proud of her would be an understatement. It’s tough to put into words.
“As one of her coaches, I feel like she deserves it. She had a great deal of success at our non-district meets. She won the 400-meters and 100-hurdles in every meet we ran up to the district meet. She was second in the 400 and 100 hurdles at district and area. She ran a great 400 at the regional track meet in Lubbock against really tough competition and placed fourth. That was a really tough race; the winner set a regional record that day. She was second in the 100 hurdles to qualify for the state track meet. At the state track meet she finished eighth in the 100 hurdles. It was quite an experience for anyone, but as a freshman it was something special.”
Moving forward, Keith McFarland said he doesn’t have any particular expectations or goals for his daughter beyond just continuing to work hard.
“I really just want for her to continue to enjoy running and to work hard,” he said. “ As far as expectations go, I just want her to do her best and to work as hard as she can. To give that level of effort is all you can ask.”
As a longtime coach for Godley ISD, Keith McFarland said he’s grateful to be able to coach his daughter.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” he said. “I’m so happy to work for Godley ISD and I’m thankful the administration and athletic directors have allowed me to be in the position where I’m able to coach Taylor. It’s an amazing place to work. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”