Hallsville’s Avery Perkins competes at the UIL State Track and Field Meet last week in Austin.

Hallsville track and field and cross country standout Avery Perkins knew about Texas A&M University, but she didn’t realize it would be her home for the foreseeable future until she stepped on campus.

Perkins, a state qualifier this past season on the track and in cross country, recently signed to do both at Texas A&M, where she’ll focus on the mile run and also run cross country.

“I just wanted to go visit,” Perkins said. “I have a lot of friends who have already graduated and go there. I know the school has a great track program. I didn’t know much about the school, but I just knew everyone was crazy about Texas A&M. I visited and found out why.”

Perkins started her senior season by qualifying for the Class 5A University Interscholastic League State Cross Country Meet, finishing 13th with a time of 18:51.10.

She loaded up on medals on the track this spring, earning district and area championships in the 800 and 1,600 meters and then placing second in the 800 and third in the 1,600 at the Class 5A Region II Track and Field Meet in Arlington to qualify for the state meet in both events.

At the state meet, Perkins earned a silver medal in the 800 meters with a time of 2:11.45, and finished fifth in the 1,600 with a 5:03.71 clocking.

“She’s a special runner,” Hallsville Coach Jared Duncan said. “Obviously she’s fast and she has the typical makeup that makes her a good runner, but she’s also the most competitive and determined person I’ve ever met. She does everything the right way.”

Texas A&M competes in the Southeastern Conference along with Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports