The Texas State track and field team will venture to Baylor for the Dr. Pepper Classic this weekend. It will be their last meet away from home before hosting the Bobcat Classic and conference championship at the new track stadium.
The team currently stands at tenth place, dropping one spot after their showing at the Texas Invitational. The team ranks 97th nationally out of hundreds of teams.
Although the team lost a spot in the rankings, it should be back in the swing of things this weekend. Reggie Reed, sophomore sprinter, said the team has upped the intensity in practice.
“We started off the week pretty hard and will be training hard all week,” Reed said.
The Bobcats have several standout athletes thus far. Chante’sean White, junior, transferred from South Plains College to become a part of the team this year. White is the best hurdler in the Southland Conference, surpassing her opponents by over two seconds in the 400-meter hurdles. Her highest score of 58.87 at the Texas State Invitational ranked her 20th in the nation.
Along with White, Elena Horn, senior, leads conference in the pole vault for the women’s team, while Logan Cunningham leads the men’s team, second in conference. Both pole-vaulters are ranked nationally, with Horn in 32nd with 4.05 meters and Cunningham in 18th with 5.32 meters.
With the conference championship nearing, it is difficult to keep the ultimate event out of mind. Johnson said although only two meets are left, he is solely focusing on the next step ahead.
“I train meet-by-meet,” James Johnson, sophomore, said. “I take it one step at a time, that way I do my best at one meet. Then, the next [meet] I can practice and improve. If you train with only conference in mind you’ll get ahead of yourself or end up getting injured.”
Johnson holds the highest national ranking for the Bobcats. After breaking a school record in the 200-meter in the first home meet of the year, Johnson’s 20.57 time earned him 11th in the country.
The Bobcat track and field team has endured many changes over the past year and has enjoyed more success than in previous seasons. With a completely new coaching staff, the team had to regroup and reorganize to make the transformation successful.
Coach Dana Boone took over the team this season, and said they have made a great improvement.
“It is like night and day, to be truthful,” Boone said. “From the first day of practice to now it’s definitely a humongous change for the better, but we still have a ways to go. An overall improvement across the board has been the difference.”
The team has seemed to respond well to the changes. Multiple records have been broken, countless gold medals earned and new personal records are set every meet. Courtney Miller, sophomore, said this year has been uplifting for the team.
“We’ve gone a lot farther than what we were last year,” Miller said. “Our training is different, but the main thing is our attitudes. We have more confidence in what we are doing this year and more trust in our coaches.”