ON SPORTS: Young West sprinters have program on fast track
April 3, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated April 2, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Their best finish was 45th place. The times were far from their fastest. They didn't come within smelling distance of the finals.
But Victoria West coach Trey Aley has no second thoughts about taking his young sprinters to the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
The lessons learned at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin over the Easter weekend will stay with the Warriors for years to come.
"They just came out of the blocks so fast. They were really fast," said freshman Gamar Girdy. "I need to come out of the blocks faster and run my race. I need to work harder."
The motivation could do wonders for Girdy and his fellow sprinters.
They are not only fast, they are all underclassmen with the potential to get better.
"We're trying to instill a good work ethic, get them to come out to practice and push themselves in practice," Aley said. "We want them to stay on the track and get their grades.
"We can show them how important it is and where track can take certain kids. There's opportunities out there for money at school and stuff like that."
Girdy has run the 100-meter dash in 10.64 seconds, which ties him for the fastest time in the area this season.
Rashod Jackson, a junior, has the fourth fastest time (10.83) in the area in the 100.
Girdy and Jackson have teamed up with freshman Zevaughn Shelton and sophomore Ty Fromme on the 400-meter relay.
Girdy, Jackson, Shelton and sophomore Blake Phillips run the 800-meter relay.
"We knew last year with some of these kids coming up we were going to have pretty good speed," said Aley, who took over as head coach this season after Michael Garcia left to become an assistant principal at Gonzales. "They're young and they're handling things pretty well for their age."
The next challenge for West will be the District 30-4A meet at Calallen on Wednesday and Thursday, April 10-11.
The trip to the Texas Relays, which also included a stop at the Texas spring football game, was a primer of sorts.
"The reason we went was No. 1 to see the type of competition," Aley said. "No. 2 was to run at that level. When you get to regional and state, it's the same kind of concept, the same setup. A lot of these kids don't get to go and see things like that and don't get out of Victoria much."
Jackson is still buzzing about the experience.
"It was way better than regionals," he said. "Them having to check your bag and everything. You could tell it was special. It was good competition. It makes me want to do things like run summer track, which I've never done before."
Aley has continuously pushed his young sprinters to work harder and has been pleased by their response.
"Being that they're young, it's kind of a wide-eyed effect the first couple of track meets," he said. "Getting them to be warmed up and loose and ready for the race. It's all kind of a learning experience. The group we have is pretty disciplined at that."
Aley is not sure if the Warriors have enough depth to carry them to a team title this season.
But with most of this year's team returning and with help coming from a strong junior varsity squad, he figures it's only a matter of time.
"That would be a great thing for West High School," Aley said. "I really think as far as getting more people interested in track. Getting the confidence saying the we can compete not just in the 100 but at all levels. I think it would be a great confidence builder for our kids to win a district championship."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or email@example.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.