Cuero's Sheppard repeats as Female Athlete of the Year
June 1, 2013 at 1:01 a.m.
State meets: 2011, 2012, 2013
State medals: 2012: Gold, 300-meter hurdles. 2013: Gold, 300-meter hurdles; Silver, 100-meter hurdles
Times: 100-meter hurdles, 14.09 seconds, No. 1 in area; 300-meter hurdles, 42.99 seconds, No. 1 in area
Abby Sheppard ran summer track, but she went to private school and didn't start participating in interscholastic track and field until she attended junior high.
The Cuero graduate more than made up for lost time.
Sheppard made three trips to the state meet and won three medals - two gold and one silver.
Sheppard finished her senior season with the best times in the area in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
She capped her high school career by traveling to the state meet at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin and capturing a silver medal in the Class 3A 100-meter hurdles and a second consecutive gold medal in the 300-meter hurdles.
The strong finish led to Sheppard's selection for the second straight year as the Female Athlete of the Year on the Victoria Advocate's 2013 All-Area Track and Field Team.
Q: What do you like about track and field?
A: I kind of liked that it was an individual sport. I was so used to team sports. You work so hard and you can show what you can do yourself.
Q: When did you realize you could be successful in the sport?
A: My freshman year I jumped into hurdles like the week before district and made it to regional. My form was so bad that I hit every hurdle at regional. I just figured that if I worked really hard I would get better.
Q: Who helped you achieve your success?
A: Mostly my parents and my coaches. My parents didn't push me where I had to do it. They always told me how much they liked watching me and I was good at it. My coaches never stopped helping me.
Q: What is it like to compete at the state meet?
A: The state meet is one of the most exciting things and to medal is unbelievable to me. I never thought I would be able to do that. I saw both of my brothers (Alex and Avery) do it and I never thought I was going to be up there one day. I don't think I'll know what it means for a while. It's probably going to hit me in a couple of weeks. It's one of the best feelings in the world.
Q: What did it mean to end your high school career with your second gold medal in the 300 hurdles?
A: It meant a lot. That's really all I focused on this year and that's all I thought about pretty much. I didn't want to think that I had it. I just wanted to leave with it.
Q: Talk about your decision to attend college and participate in track and field at Trinity University, a NCAA Division III school in San Antonio?
A: I never wanted to go to a Division I school. I didn't want to go on a full ride because I don't ever want to lose the love for track. If I did, I would want to be able to stop doing it. I don't want to have the pressure that I have to do great every time. I do it for fun and if I do well, I do well.