In Tolar, it seems track season isn’t complete without a trip to Austin in May.
Well, one year it ended in June following suspension of play because of the Swine Flu scare throughout Texas.
But it still ended at the UIL State Track and Field Meet at the University of Texas, just as it did this year and every year since 2007.
And the two competitors Tolar had at state this year are both underclassmen, pole vaulters Rodie Brister (sophomore) and Reagan Mabery (junior).
For Mabery, it was her third consecutive year to reach state, finishing fifth after placing fourth as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore.
Brister was making his debut at state and finished sixth.
Already head track coach Gregg Lee is looking to continue the streak next season.
“Reagan and Rodie will only be better. Another year of maturity and another year under coach (Scotty) Miller (pole vault coach) will only improve them,” he said. “It would be fantastic to see Reagan go for a fourth straight year and leave with a medal.”
She could have company. The Lady Rattlers had no seniors this season and were led by a strong junior class.
The Rattlers had five seniors.
“All were great contributors, but I feel we have people ready to step in where these seniors left off,” said Lee, whose boys won District 10-2A and the Area 9-10 Meet.
“Again with the boys, we have a strong Junior class. Both groups will be strong as long as we don’t get ‘Senioritis.’
“It’s nice to have a streak like ours. It is a little pressure also. Thank goodness pole vaulters have kept it going the last two years.”
Like all streaks, it will of course some day come to an end, but it has raised the expectations of the Tolar track team greatly, said Lee.
“ It’s funny, we won a lot of meets this year. Our boys won district and area by a wide margin. Our girls were second in district,” he said. “We sent huge amount to regionals. Yet it seems like we measure ourselves on a higher standard here.
“Its a good problem to have, to be judged based on state competition rather than district or regionals. To get to state is hard. So enjoy and embrace it. It is a testament to the work ethic of our kids.”
As for the subvarsity programs, Lee said, “Our JV boys were solid. Our JV girls were very few. We need some help with numbers on our girls side.
“Our junior high teams are at the unfortunate spot in which we have limited numbers. We have 1A numbers at the junior high, and it is hard for us to break through. There are teams in our district that literally have three times as many kids in junior high grades as we do.
“But we can compete with anybody in high school. If those young kids keep trying and working, success will come their way. I have a feeling the “numbers” will soon be in our favor again.”
One thing that helps the track success is the versatility of the athletes, said Lee. They are encouraged to participate in several sports.
“We want competitiors,” he said.
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