The Altus High School girls track team under the direction of Coach Randle Hawkins and Robert Garrison are looking forward to the upcoming 2013 track season. After a somewhat disappointing end to an injury riddled 2012 season that saw the Lady Bulldogs finish 3rd at State, the Lady Bulldogs look to recapture the title that they won in 2011.
“We looked at the team picture from that year and we have lost four girls from the team that won it two years ago,” said Coach Robert Garrison, “so we told them, there is no reason for us to not be one of the favorites this year.” Altus will bring back a seasoned group this year. Vetta McCaskill, Kendra Gibson,and Itiya Knight will lead a very quick group of sprinters for Altus. McCaskill is one of the favorites to win the 200 dash at State while Gibson looks to improve on her runner-up performance in the long jump last year.
Knight, who was injured most of last year, looks to come back and build on the strong relay tradition that has been started her in Altus. “We are going to experiment at the start of the season with different girls in the fourth spot on our relays,” said Garrison, “we will be fast, but we want to have the best four on the track at the right spots by mid-April.”
Some girls looking to land that fourth spot will be Tyara Jones, Zetta McCaskill and freshman Mary Lou Guzman. Zetta McCaskill will be one of the state’s top 400 runners this year. Altus will be strong again in the hurdles this year as Ashely Hughes returns in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Hughes placed 5th in the 100 at State last year and 3rd in the 300s. “Ashely has been working hard so far this year to get her times down, she’s been working with a college hurdler and if everything goes right she will be one of the favorites to win them both,” added Garrison. Adding depth to the hurdle core will be freshmen Kali Tovar and Alex Fiorella The field events look to be another plus for the Lady Bulldogs.
Tisay Woodhouse will be one of the favorites to win the shot and discus events this year. The heavily recruited senior will come into the season ranked number 1 in the shot and number 2 in the discus. “Tisay is focused and ready to compete,” said Garrison, “if all goes well, her points will really help at State.” Gibson, another highly recruited senior, is one of the state’s top long jumpers. She will be looking to improve on her outstanding season last year, “Kendra was jumping 18’ pretty regularly by the end of the season, so we hope she will stay healthy and build on that,” said Garrison.
Britney Drewry and Sidney Richeson will be back pole vaulting for the Lady Bulldogs and hoping to improve on their Regional placings. The Distance team will be lead this year by seniors Sarah Gilstad and Brenda Ortiz. Gilstad will be in the 800 and 1600 runs while Ortiz will tackle the 1600 and 3200 runs. Both will be relied on in the 3200 Relay. “Our 3200 Relay team lost three members from last year’s 3rd place team but we have some young runners ready to step in and help us,” said Garrison. This will be a very competitive year in Class 5A for girls track. Last years State Champ, Shawnee, Deer Creek, Tulsa Washington and Altus will be favored for the team title heading into May.
“If we can stay healthy and keep our focus on the goal, then this team could bring home another title,” said Garrison.
ALTUS HIGH WOMENS TRACK HEAD COACH: RANDLE HAWKINS ASSISTANT COACHES; ROBERT GARRISON, RICK PATTERSON
Roster: Seniors: Vetta McCaskill, Kendra Gibson, Tisay Woodhouse, Itiya Knight, Sarah Gilstad, Brenda Ortiz, Destiny Abila, Sarah Standard, Abby Evans Juniors: Ashely Hughes, Zetta McCaskill, Sicily Gonzales, Tyara Jones, Raquel McCellon, Aerial Robinson, Jada Bostic, Kym Stevenson, Sophomores: Britney Drewry, Quetta McCaskill, Caroline Quam, Sidney Richeson, Madison Morrow, Jasmine Aviles, Dana Mueller, Tosha Gildon Freshman: Julia Pack, Belicia Ramirez, MaryLou Guzman, Lexie Herron, Leticia Castro, Aliah Nelms, Lauren Bledsoe, Lupita Lopez, Alex Fiorella, Ebriannah Ward, Kali Tovar.
Schedule: March 9 at Duncan, March 14 at McGuinness, March 26 at Hobart(JV), April 5 at Cache, April 9
at Elgin(JV), April 12 at Yukon, April 16 at Chickasha, April 20 Altus, April 25 at Duncan, May 4 Regionals, May 10-
11 State at Yukon.