It took four years, but Ta'la Spates accomplished one of her goals at the LHSAA state meet last Saturday.
She finished first to successfully defend her state title in the 400-meter dash, but that was almost secondary.
Her time of 57.35 broke the Division II indoor meet record of 57.96 set by Episcopal's Rachel Misher in 2015.
"It was such a great feeling," Spates recalled after the race. "I had been wanting to break it (record) for four years. It took my last year, but I'm glad I did it. I wanted something that I could accomplish on my own. I was on top of the world."
Spates admitted her goal during the race was to win, but it was also to just survive, considering she entered the race dealing with strep throat and a sinus infection.
"I was just praying I could get through the race without dying," Spates said with laughter. I was running in the first lap and I heard my mom shout out my time. She said I was behind, so I started hustling and running faster. I was just hoping that strep didn't end me."
The sickness didn't prevail and she ended Misher's reign as the record holder in the event.
Spates was also a state champion as part of the 4 x 200 relay team. Spates, along with Mackenzie Jenkins, Myla Edwards and Megan Williams took home the title with a time of 1:45.47. Spates also finished third in the 60-meter dash.
With the indoor season ended, Spates said she has her eyes set on breaking another record, this time outdoors.
"I want the indoor and outdoor records," she said. "I want to break the outdoor record and break it by a lot."
The 4x4 relay team composed of Spates, Jenkins, Williams and Jashyree Bell finished second.
Pole vaulter Hannah Pedigo finished third in the state.