Wilson Track season stopped short of finish line

By Joshua Bray

Slatonite Intern

“The season was a year to compete for our small but mighty Wilson Mustangs,” said Wilson High School track coach Michael Garza.

What should have been another season for the Mustangs to represent their school became unlike any other due to forces beyond the team’s control.

Despite their drive to represent their school, the track teams’ ambitions would have to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak plaguing the world. As the world changed, so did the lives of the 14 student athletes of the Mustang track team as their season was canceled midway through by UIL due to the pandemic.

“As a coach I was disappointed but understood the measures being taken place by the UIL,” Garza said. “I believe this was the correct decision as with any safety concerns with our student athletes.”   

Despite the season being cut short, Garza said he had already seen plenty of growth from his student athletes. He saw the growth of the team came from the athletes’ attitudes and motivation to compete.

“Before the season started, we had a meeting about being competitive with every event we are in,” Garza said. “The athletes all bought into the idea of creating a competition between each other and other schools.” 

Garza said the team attended every meet as if they were competing in a State meet.  This led to athletes pushing themselves to beat their personal best times at practice or our previous meet. 

“I was looking forward to seeing how far our athletes could reach whether it was a District meet, Area meet, Regional meet or the State meet.  Keeping a progression chart of our athletes during their events allowed me to keep track of their growth at track meets,” Garza said. “I loved to see athletes surprised as they beat their own personal best times.” 

While this year’s team had no seniors, several players had gone above and beyond Garza’s expectations, and met their goal of staying completive with each other, and the other teams at every meet.

Garza said one of the many players he had the pleasure to coach was Isiah Valdez, who competes in shot put and discus.

“He had placed in the top four of the two meets we did attend,” Garza said. “He was on his way to place in his events to make it past our District Meet into the Area Meet with every meet showing growth.” 

Garza said Marissa Hinojosa made a name for herself while participating in hurdles and long jump.

“This was a first for her to compete in hurdles,” Garza said. “She as well managed to place in top three places in both track meets.” 

Dom Varela, a freshman, had shown growth with breaking his personal best at two meets, Garza said.

“He has been an athlete that will work hard to meet the standards and to compete with himself in order to become the best.” Garza said. “Dom has proven to be one with time and practice could make it to Regional with his dedication to any given sport.”

Garza said despite the cancelation of the season, he looks forward to next year’s season and said he believes the student athletes will bounce back for another productive and competitive track season. 

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