Refugio hopes state meet points to track and field resurgence
May 7, 2012 at 12:07 a.m.
REFUGIO - Marcus Thompson doesn't have wait until he returns to school to find out how he performed at a meet.
The Refugio junior's first critique comes at home.
"My mom always talks to me after track meets," Thompson said. "She gives me pointers on how to run."
Thompson has gotten sound advice from Latanya Green, who still holds the Refugio school record in the 200-yard/meter dash.
Green's pointers have helped Thompson qualify for the UIL Class 2A State Track and Field Championships in two events.
Thompson will compete in the boys 100-meter dash and long jump on Friday in Austin.
Senior Megan Shaw and junior Logan Myers will join Thompson at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Shaw will compete in the girls shot put and discus, and Myers will compete in the boys shot put.
Thompson's grandfather, Carl Green, also participated in track and field for the Bobcats.
The family connection exists for Shaw and Myers. Angie Herring, Shaw's cousin, and Duane Lindemann, Myers' uncle, threw the shot put and discus at Refugio.
Refugio's success in track and field is unparalleled in Texas.
The Bobcats have won a record 10 state team titles, and the Lady Cats have won six, including five straight from 1985 to 1989.
But Refugio has been going through a drought of sorts. The last team title came in 2001 and Refugio sent only one participant to the state meet in each of the last two years.
"All our fast people don't really run all the time," Thompson said. "I felt like I had to pick up the slack and make it to state this year."
The success enjoyed by Shaw, Myers and Thompson, who qualified for the regional meet in five events, is an encouraging sign.
Refugio boys coach Donald Patton points out Refugio had three third-place finishers at the regional meet.
"We had some struggles in track, but I saw a glimmer of hope this year," Patton said. "We had great participation. We took 35 kids to the district meet and we basically dominated both divisions and we've got some good young kids coming up. A lot of those kids coming, their heritage goes back to the people from the 80's."
Myers has noticed a change in the attitude toward track and field and is hopeful.
"I think it's coming back and we're getting some more athletic kids into our program," he said. "We're a lot faster and coach is encouraging us more to get back into track."
Shaw was Refugio's lone state qualifier last season, finishing fifth in the shot put and sixth in the discus.
But her marks have improved tremendously this season under throwing coach Mallory Adams, who also competed in track and field at Refugio.
"I wasn't very good in the discus, but as soon as she started helping me out I became a lot better," Shaw said. "She worked with me and because of my technique I have improved a lot."
Thompson's improvement was most obvious in the 100 where he qualified for regional as the fifth seed, but finished second.
"I like the 100," he said. "I just like the straightaway and being able to run as fast as I can."
Thompson's mother has talked to him about the state meet, but he's anxious to find out for himself.
"Coach (Kent) Hawthorne says there's nothing like it," Thompson said. "A lot of people everywhere and he said it feels like you're a gladiator or something."
Thompson, Myers and Shaw are hoping to experience the feeling of getting on the medal stand.
Refugio teams of the past rarely returned from Austin without some kind of hardware.
Winning a medal at this year's state meet would set a tone for the future.
"I think that would encourage more people, just to see us standing out among the crowd," Myers said. "That would encourage them to get into track."