(Editor’s Note: this is part of a continuing series on area High School sports as they wait to see if UIL will continue their season May 4.)
By Joshua Bray
In light of the UIL suspensions of all sports activities for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Roosevelt High School girls track coach Marianne Wolfe reflected on the season that possibly cut short from her and her team.
Wolfe said she was very excited coming into this track season because of the improvements the team had at the end of last year and the special group of incoming freshmen.
“We were right where we wanted to be going into our fourth track meet of the season, with the majority of the girls reaching a new personal best each meet,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said she is disappointed for the girls that they did not get to see the culmination of their hard work pay off at District and beyond.
Wolfe said that several of her athletes have shown significant growth in the time she’s known them. “Sophomore Victoria Montes, who was an Area qualifier as a freshman in the 3200 meter run, has impressed me the most with her work ethic in training and mental approach to running her event and just where she has grown with that personally,” Wolfe said. “Having the success she had last year really got her excited and it has been fun to watch this shy girl really step out of her box and become a competitor.”
Wolfe coached freshmen Nikki Harris and Amelia Salas in junior high and couldn’t wait to see what they could do in high school.
“Neither (Harris nor Salas) disappointed,” Wolfe said. “They run the 4 by 100, 4 by 200 and high jump together, run the 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash respectively, and they just get better every time they stepped on the track,” she said. “It’s exciting to think about what they can accomplish because we still have so much to work on and refine, but they are naturals and are two to watch for.”
Wolfe said she is also excited about the future of sophomores Brittany Barlett and Lexi Gonzales.
“(Barlett and Gonzales) have both really started to settle in and just enjoy their events which made for significant improvements in the 800 meter run and 400 meter dash for them,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said that despite being a young team with only two seniors, she has seen a lot of growth in terms of mental toughness. The athlete’s confidence and mentality when heading into events has improved since last season, and Wolfe attributes that to a growth in the team’s maturity.
“Our numbers were really up this year so I felt like we could put a little more focus on team championships and really going after those at each meet,” Wolfe said. “The girls really bought into that too and there was a much greater sense of camaraderie among them. Last year the Tahoka Bulldog Relays was the first team championship my seniors had ever had so we really had a goal to go out and win that again, and were able to do so, which they were really proud of. The timing of that meet is just so, that it’s a great confidence booster mid-season as you are really starting to prepare for the District meet. I felt like we were right where we wanted to be when the season got cut short.”
Like many other coaches, Wolfe said the thing she misses the most during the hiatus is her athletes.
“Every day we go out and try to be better than we were yesterday; they give me everything they have day in and day out,” Wolfe said. “I just look forward to continuing to help them succeed and seeing their growth as a person just from being a part of track (and) field.”