Austin’s nice around early May.
Just ask Tolar track coach Gregg Lee.
Under his tutelage, and before him Mike Franklin, the Tolar track program has become regulars at state.
Last season, pole vaulter Reagan Mabery finished sixth as a sophomore. She was fourth the year before.
“We have a lot of returners from last year on the boys side and the girls,” said an optimistic Lee about the season now beginning.
The returning Lady Rattlers include Mabery, along with regional qualifiers Morgan Thomas, Meg Gilliam, Shelby Newton, Cassidy Phillips and Madison Prichard-Warren.
“Our girls team is led by our junior class, most of which have been on varsity since they were freshmen,” said Lee.
“We do have a strong group of freshmen. These freshmen were very successful in junior high, and a lot of them should be able to help the varsity.”
As far as the boys team, the Rattlers have everybody back except for one who graduated. Tim Williams, T.J. Foster, Corbin Wood, Garret Winston, Grant Winston, Kaleb Gilliam, Jacob Phillips, Rodie Brister and Cory Solomon all qualified for regionals last year.
“It is very nice to return virtually your entire team from the previous year,” said Lee.
Even better, he said, is that of all the boys listed, only two are seniors.
“As far as advancing, I don’t know. We are still early in the season and trying to see just where we are,” said Lee humbly.
“I am excited about our possibilities for a very successful year. The dedication these kids have shown in the weight room and in offseason has really been evident. And I think we have a quality coaching staff with lots of knowledge that our kids can definitely benefit from.”
Tolar, as did teams all across Texas, entered a new district this season. It includes Godley, Grandview, Keene Smith, Maypearl, Rio Vista and Whitney.
“I really don’t know much about our new district. We only have one team in our district that was with us last year (Godley),” said Lee. “We will see what the district looks like as we progress through the season.
“As always, we are planning for lots of success. There are always expectations and pressure for our track and field teams to be good. And that is just the way we like it.”
Tolar’s history of track success over the past decade includes having sent at least one competitor to Austin in each of the past six seasons.
The 2009 boys team finished third in Class A. That squad featured a silver medal-winning 1600-meter relay and a bronze medal-winning 800 relay.
Each of Mabery’s state appearances have been at the 2A level.
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