Basketball will always be THE sport at Lipan High School.
But track and field has certainly made a strong case in recent years as being the second most successful.
The school sent two competitors to Austin this season for the Class A Division II State Track and Field Meet.
Senior Shauna Coleman competed in the 300-meter hurdles, while sophomore Lanie Roberts participated in the 800 and 1600 runs.
It came on the heels of sending four last season, including Roberts in the 800.
“We should have had some more this year,” said Roberts.
Catherine Thormann, Shelby Bontke and Jorge Hernandez narrowly missed returning to state.
In all, Lipan has sent seven to state in Ray Michou’s time as coach since he arrived at Lipan six seasons ago. Jake Green was the first, competing in the 400 in 2010.
Green was the first boy in Lipan history to advance to state track.
Something that has helped Lipan, one of the smallest schools in Texas, is the University Interscholastic League’s split of Class A into Division I and Division II last season, just like it has been in basketball for years.
“It gives kids encouragement to participate,” said Michou.
“In the past getting kids interested in track was tough. District was tough to get out of, then at area, three of the four kids who moved on to regionals were from bigger schools.”
Smaller schools have been at a disadvantage in years past, not only because they have fewer athletes, but also because several – like Lipan – do not have their own track.
Coleman, for example, practiced hurdles by setting them up around campus. Roberts simply runs through the tiny town to work on her distance events.
While the folks in Lipan are enjoying the recent track success, Michou isn’t ready to call getting to state a tradition.
But Coleman believes such thinking could be connected with the program in upcoming years – and not just track.
“Our cross country program is also very good,” she said.
“I think in the next couple of years, cross country is also going to get here.”
[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 256