PORT LAVACA — Emme O’Donnell’s goal of running in four consecutive state meets disappeared with the COVID-19 pandemic.
But O’Donnell appears to be on course for a third appearance at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
“It was a little frustrating since we worked so hard for two months,” O’Donnell said. “I was just ready for next season. That was kind of my motivation was just to get ready as good as I could for my senior year.”
O’Donnell trained on her own as she waited to get back on the track.
“It was a lot of self discipline being stuck in the house and you can’t really run with anyone,” O’Donnell said. “I just had to get up and get motivated and go.”
The work has paid off for O’Donnell, who won the 3,200-meter run, 800-meter run and 1,600-meter run at the District 26-4A meet, which concluded Thursday at Sandcrab Stadium.
O’Donnell scored 30 points and finished second in the girls high-point totals to Beeville’s Allie Estrada, who had 41.
O’Donnell qualified for the area meet, which is scheduled for Wednesday in Rockport, in all three events.
“I think I’m ready to compete,” she said. “I’m just as good as anyone who is going to be out there.”
O’Donnell will be competing in Class 4A after running in Class 5A as a freshman and a sophomore.
“It’s not too much of a difference right now that I know of,” she said. “But we’ll see whenever we get to the bigger races at regional and state. I think it’s going to be pretty much just as competitive. But I’m ready for it.”
O’Donnell has signed a letter of intent to run cross country and track at Dallas Baptist University and is looking forward to competing on the collegiate level.
“It’s sad. It is. It just went so fast,” she said. “I’m a senior and I can’t believe it. I’m so excited for college. I am so ready for what God has in the future.”
Coming on strong
Beeville’s Jalen Spicer had not beaten Ingleside’s Roberto Gonzales in the 100-meter dash this season.
But Spicer made the most of his opportunity at the District 26-4A meet.
Spicer pulled ahead of Gonzales early and crossed the finish line first in a time of 10.83 seconds.
“I felt good” Spicer said. “I kind of wanted to celebrate at the end. But it feels good winning after losing like two or three times in a row. It feels good winning.”
Spicer also ran the third leg on the Trojans’ winning 800-meter relay team and finished second behind Gonzales in the 200-meter dash, qualifying for the area meet in all three events.
Spicer, Gonzales and Rockport-Fulton’s George Marable tied for boys high-point totals with 23.
“It’s going good,” Spicer said. “At the beginning of the season, I had a little bit of senioritis going on. I wanted to come out and compete. I had a little talk with my coaches. I’ve got to keep dropping times each week. That’s the goal each week is to go hard in practice and drop time.”
Part of Spicer’s motivation was signing a letter of intent to play football at Blinn College next season.
“I’ve got to get faster,” he said. “I’m going to go compete collegiately and people are going to be fast too.”
Spicer would like to end his Beeville career at the state meet.
“That’s my goal making it to state, especially from the 361,” Spicer said. “Not a lot of people do it. Bobby (Gonzales) and I have some of the best times in state so we want to make it for sure.”
Mustangs, Lady Pirates win team titles
Ingleside won the boys team title with 161 points, Rockport-Fulton was second with 143 and Calhoun was third with 130.
Rockport-Fulton won the girls team title with 143 points, Ingleside was second with 111, and Sinton was third with 105.