When it comes to track and field, Coppell seniors Megan Judd and Skyler Schuller have been each other’s biggest cheerleaders.
Judd was in school the morning of April 28, but she sent a text message to Schuller prior to the start of the girls pole vault at the Region I-6A track and field championships, and she asked her best friend how she was doing.
After Schuller won with a height of 13-3, she sent a two-world message, “I won.” Judd followed up with, “I was sending emojis and was very happy for her. It was a stressful week leading up to it and I’m glad that she did well.”
While Schuller earned a third straight berth in the state meet, Judd had yet to compete. Judd was scheduled to compete in the high jump the following day. She sought her first state qualification in the high jump. Judd came close to qualifying her sophomore season but was looking to finally get over the hump. She did just that, placing second in the regional meet with a height of 5-5.
“I felt very in control when I was jumping,” Judd said. “The conditions were not the best, and it was really cold and windy. My heights were not the best, but my technique was good and my mindset was under control.”
Schuller was getting in rest before she competed in the hurdles later in the day, but she was fully aware of what Judd was doing.
“I was so excited because last year, she came with me, but just as a friend or an alternate,” Schuller said. “I’m so excited that we’re going to be able to go and both compete. It’s so much more fun than being the only person that competes.”
This is a friendship that goes all the way back to preschool. They were reunited in the third grade after going to two different schools for first and second grades. It was in the sixth grade when it formed into a lifelong friendship.
“We used to write books together when we were in the first grade, and we’re still like that,” Schuller said. “We still talk about school, our sport all the time, and our coach calls us nerds.”
Schuller said that her friendship with Judd has stood the test of time because “we both have similar personalities.”
“There is a lot of silent compromise,” Judd said. “I feel like that we understand each other very well and we know what the other person is thinking and how to respond and not get caught up in the little things.”
In the high jump and pole vault, the slightest details can be the difference between first place and fifth place. And for Judd and Schuller, laughing during practice is a way that they alleviate all of the stress that comes with those two sports. But when it comes time to get serious, they are well-versed on telling each other that they need to get things done.
Schuller seeks another record-breaking performance in the pole vault. At last season’s state meet in Austin, she became the first female to clear 14 feet, breaking the old UIL meet record of 13-9.25. However, she settled for second place after Tomball’s Molly Haywood tied that mark and then cleared 14-3 to win the state title.
“Last year, it was such a close meet,” Schuller said. “It was exciting. I wasn’t disappointed at all because I did as best as I could, and she was able to jump higher. I’m glad that I have another chance to go back. I’m peaking at the right time. My practices are going really well. I feel like that I have a chance to PR or breaking the state record or win state. I jumped 14-1 two weeks ago.”
Judd also sought a trip to the medal stand at Mike Myers Stadium.
“It was very exciting to qualify for state and am also excited to go with the girl that got first in our region in the high jump,” she said. “I know the girls that will be jumping and it will be a good experience.”
They will go their separate ways after graduation, as Schuller will run track and field for Stanford, while Judd is bound for Dartmouth.
“Academics were my No. 1 priority and I also really liked that they care more about how their athletes are doing mentally than athletic performances,” Schuller said. “The coaches are really understanding of you. The team seems to have a lot of fun, which creates a lot less pressure.”
Academics are what sold Judd on Dartmouth.
“I was really attracted to the campus and the academics,” she said. “The coaches are very caring. They are always asking, ‘How is your family? How is school?’It’s more about you as a person than if you have a bad practice.”
Although they will be located on opposite ends of the country, they will be sure to see each other when they return to Coppell when school is not in session.
“It’s definitely going to be different not to physically be there with each other,” Judd said. “Whenever we come back for breaks, we’re going to pick up where we left off.”
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