The Texas State track team returns from Baylor flaunting two gold medals earned at the Dr Pepper Classic. The Bobcats also bettered numerous personal records and recorded top-five finishes.
“It was a solid day for the team,” Coach Dana Boone said. “There were a lot of good things that happened, especially in the field events and middle distances.”
The first gold medal was awarded to senior Elena Horn for clearing 3.95 meters in the pole vault to take first. Her mark was .10 meters away from her personal record, and it was her second time to win gold this outdoor season.
Following Horn was teammate Anicka Newell with 3.65 meters, who placed second for the first time in her career. The second Bobcat to take first was senior Michael Morris.
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 Texas State track and field team battled wind and gloomy skies at the Texas Invitational last weekend in Austin.
James Johnson, sophomore sprinter, said the wind played a big factor in the athletes’ performances.
“Getting off the bus and feeling all the wind, we knew it was going to be a hard meet to run in,” he said. “Peoples’ minds weren’t in the right place from the start, so that’s why the meet wasn’t as good as it should have been.”
Coach Dana Boone said she expects her athletes to perform well and adapt under any conditions.
“I don’t accept excuses,” she said. “It’s windy — it’s outdoor track and field so it is what it is. Everybody else had to run under the same conditions.”
Although the Bobcats struggled with the weather, the team still managed to secure several top-five finishes.
The University of Texas will play host to the Bobcat track and field team Saturday for their fifth invitational of the outdoor season. Texas State came in last place two weeks ago for the Texas Relays, where numerous teams from around the country congregated at Texas for the huge event.
The Bobcats will take 49 athletes to represent Texas State in the meet, including James Johnson, sophomore sprinter, and the record-breaking relay team. Last weekend at the Texas State Invitational, the team gave one of its best performances of the season.
Johnson broke a 24-year-old record in the 200-meter dash after finishing first place in 20.57 with the wind at his back. The time boosted Johnson to the top of the charts and he is currently ranked No. 9 in the nation and first in the Southland Conference.
With friends, family and fellow Bobcats in the stands, track and field gave one of its best performances of the season for its first home invitational in the new outdoor complex.
Chante’sean White, junior hurdler, said the team was grateful for the spectators.
“I wasn’t expecting a lot of people to be there, but there was a lot of school spirit and people out there supporting the team,” she said. “That was really appreciated.”
Collectively, the women’s team recorded top-five finishes in 17 of 21 total events. The men followed close behind with 15 top-five finishes.
This weekend the track and field team will finally get to bring the action to Texas State. It will be their first home meet of the season, as well as the first meet held at the brand new track and field stadium.
The Bobcats have been competing all over the south this year, and now is their time to directly show Texas State what they have been working for. Coach Dana Boone said that the team looks forward to the meet.
“It is our first chance to run on our brand new facility,” Boone said. “We practice here every day and the athletes should run with a lot of confidence because it is our home track.”
Last year before the new track was built, the team had to share Bobcat Stadium with football. This put many restrictions on practice times and space, so the new track stadium was built.
The Bobcat track and field team broke two more school records Friday and Saturday at the Victor Lopez Classic held at Rice University. So far, the team has surpassed six records during the 2012 indoor and outdoor seasons.
To start the competition Friday, Michelle Jones, middle distance sophomore, took everyone by surprise when she ran the 1,500-meter in 4:32.88. Her time broke a 13-year-old record and landed her in fourth place among 50 competitors.
“I wasn’t expecting to run this time at my first meet of the outdoor season, set a new (personal record) by 11 seconds and set the school record,” she said. “But this boosted my confidence and allows me to set my goals even higher.”
Being an athlete requires juggling a busy schedule between practice, classes, study hall and games, not to mention fitting in the demands of a social life.
Choosing the right place to live, however, can have a dramatic impact in easing some of the pressure.
Many factors can hinder an athlete’s schedule, such as living too far from campus or choosing bad roommates.
Alissa Scott, junior defender on the Texas State soccer team, said her roommates at the Grove have helped her stay on top of an everyday routine.
“It is very helpful to live with them. They know my schedule and understand the strain it puts on my studies,” she said. “They keep me from being late in the mornings or to afternoon practice, and it helps me not to forget when we have things to do for the team.”
The 2012 indoor track season has drawn to a close, and now it is time for the best athletes in the country to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championship in Nampa, Idaho.
Logan Cunningham, junior pole-vaulter, will be the sole representative for Texas State. Cunningham never placed lower than second place in any meet this year under the guidance of a new coaching staff.
Cunningham broke a 20-year Texas State record at the Tyson Invitational earlier this season, vaulting 5.51 meters to win first place, which also launched him to No. 2 in the nation.
Head Coach Dana Boone said she is proud of Cunningham for working so hard to earn his accomplishments.
“I think Logan has been having a phenomenal year,” she said. “Every time he vaults, he is pushing the limits to see how high he can go, and that is awesome.”