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TAPPS TRACK PREVIEW: St. Joseph freshman finds early success (video)

Keldy  Ortiz

By Keldy Ortiz
May 9, 2013 at 12:09 a.m.

St. Joseph  freshman Kristen Fisher does a practice jump Wednesday at the Victoria East track. Fisher will be competing in the triple jump and the long jump this weekend at the TAPPS state championship meet.

Kristen Fisher has set the bar high for herself and doesn't mind the challenge.

When she started competing in track and field in the third grade, Fisher went up against fifth- and sixth-graders because her skill level was better than her own age group.

"It gave me confidence," recalled Fisher, now a freshman at St. Joseph. "Just because they are bigger than you doesn't mean they are better than you."

After placing first in the district and regional championship in long and triple jump this season, Fisher hopes to capture a state title Friday during the TAPPS state track and field meet. She will be competing in the long jump, triple jump and the 400-meter relay category.

Fisher said she has prepared for the meet and continued to practice through Wednesday afternoon at Victoria East. Fisher added that she's not trying to overwork herself, and she's keeping a level head.

Before her races, she always eats a bag of M&Ms for good luck.

"I have to go with my heart and do my best," she said. "I've been doing this since I was little."

Fisher didn't excel in track on her own. Her mother, Cathy, was her track coach at Our Lady of Victory, where Fisher attended school. Her mother said before her daughter got into track, she participated in gymnastics for three years.

"She's always been athletic," Cathy Fisher said. "It was just a natural progression."

During a track practice in Cuero when Fisher was in the seventh grade, she met St. Joseph assistant track coach Manuel DeLaGarza. Amazed by her talents, DeLaGarza said he knew Fisher would have success.

"You don't see seventh graders jumping 15 feet," he said. "She's really improved."

DeLaGarza trained Fisher from the seventh grade on, even practicing in the summer. Though she participates on an AAU track team in the summer, she spends her time on the track improving.

"I had a dream to go to college and play a sport or go to the Olympics," Fisher said. "That would be cool."

But while track is the sport she plays, it's not the only one. Fisher is also a member of the Lady Flyers softball team, which made it to the TAPPS state tournament earlier this week.

DeLaGarza said he wants Fisher to concentrate on one sport so that she can get better and achieve her goal of playing a college sport.

"I would have never thought she would be where she is," said her father, Wayne Fisher. "She's really come a long way."

Happy about all the success happening for herself, Fisher said winning Friday would not be too bad.

"It would mean a lot to win as a freshman," she said.



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