LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY, Texas — A track and field athlete at Academy High School has a rare opportunity in Austin.
Chris Preddie, a junior with the Bumblebees, is Central Texas' lone 3A male athlete to qualify for state in both long and triple jumps.
"I feel like I have an edge on everyone, I feel like I deserve it," Preddie said. "I work as hard as I can, it does mean a lot."
Preddie set personal bests in both events at the regional meet a few weeks ago, a 23-00.75 in long jump and 48-00.75 in triple jump. His marks are second and first, respectively, among 3A state qualifiers.
Preddie said he narrowly missed state as a freshman before COVID-19 took his sophomore season away.
Now, though, he's focused on making sure his best continues to get better.
"It's going to take a good jump," Preddie said. "I'm going against some good competition so I think I'm going to need to PR again in both events."
Cameron's Yierra Flemings will compete in both events on the girls side, too. The UIL 3A & 4A Track & Field Championships are scheduled for Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.