When the outdoor season began for the Texas State track and field team, the Bobcats’ placing from week to week would show just how good the team could be.
It also showed that the team still had room for improvement.
At the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships, where the women took first and the men placed third, expectations were raised for the start of the outdoor season.
The Texas Relays were an opportunity to realize the expectations early in the outdoor season.
The meet was important for a number of reasons. It was the first time Coach Dana Boone would have the men’s and women’s relay team in the finals. The competition, with the best collegiate athletes in the nation, was a signal for Texas State that they could compete on the national level.
After the Texas Relays, the Bobcats found themselves getting multiple first place finishes at smaller meets such as the Bobcat Classic and UIW Cardinal Invitational.
At the meets with tougher competition, like the LSU Alumni Gold meet and the Baylor Invitational, the team may not have earned as many first place finishes but would always perform at the level of their competition, setting new personal bests.
Another positive Texas State can take away from this outdoor season is their bright future. There were multiple underclassmen who had good results during the outdoor season.
Marika Brown and Macahla Wesley, sophomore sprinters, finished the outdoor season third and fourth in the Sun Belt Conference for the women’s 200-meter. Sydni Willis, freshman hurdler, claimed first in the Sun Belt Conference at the end of the outdoor season for the women’s 400-meter hurdle. Chelsie Decoud, freshman jumper, took first place in the Sun Belt Conference for the women’s high jump.
The women fell just short of taking the Sun Belt Outdoor Conference Championships, while the men finished in third place.
Although the Texas State track and field team did not win a title on the men’s or women’s side at the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championship, the NCAA West Preliminaries showed Texas State had athletes capable of being national contenders. Six members of the team qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Overall, I believe the Texas State track and field team had a successful outdoor season. While they may have fallen short at the Sun Belt Outdoor Conference Championships, the Bobcats ended the season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with two All-Americans: seniors Anicka Newell and Allie Saunders. The team sent a relatively young men’s relay team to the outdoor championship, which leaves the Bobcats with promise for the future.