Back on track

Texas High track coach reflects on season so far


Kailyn Williams

Freshman Kyleigh Perkins receives baton from junior Keira Collins in the varsity girls’ 400 meter relay at the Mav Relays track meet Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. The varsity girls finished third overall with a total of 80 points in the meet.

Story by Kailyn Williams, Sports Editor

Texas High track and field is underway once again for this spring season, and they have high hopes moving forward. With new head coach Astin Greer, the Tiger track team is hoping to perform at higher levels this season, making appearances at a number of new meets. 

“I wanted a change in scenery for our kids,” Greer said. “At TMS they run in all local meets and when they get to high school they usually run in the Longview area against smaller schools or schools in our district.”

The Tigers are running in meets based out of Dallas, Arlington, Rockwall, Paris and even Austin is an option if they can qualify for Texas Relays. 

“The goal I want to accomplish by going to the larger meets early in the season is to allow the kids to see the schools they will be competing against if they advance past the district and area meets,” Greer said. “They need to see how fast those kids in the city run so we can come home and have a better picture of how hard we need to work to reach that level.”

Another big goal for the Tigers, common to most teams, is to improve from last year’s season. Working on the little things to improve as a whole unit, Texas is hoping to grow the program to expand their success. 

“My goal for this season is to be faster and jump further than we did last season,” Greer said. “And also to expand the depth of the team by increasing the number of participants in our program.” 

So far, the Tigers have competed in two meets, and are competing a third this upcoming Saturday, Mar. 4, 2023, in Dallas at the Dallas Skyline Michael Johnson Invitational.

The Tigers started off the season a little rocky when they competed in their first meet of the season back on Feb. 18 in Marshall at the Mav Relays.

“Everything that could’ve gone wrong, did go wrong. I ran all the fastest ninth graders on the varsity, but they just aren’t experienced enough to compete at that level, and our two fastest quarter milers got hurt,” Greer said. “It was a disaster, but we competed hard and finished the meet. 

The varsity girls finished third overall with a total of 80 points, along with the junior varsity girls who also finished third with 92 points. 

The varsity boys placed fifth overall with 60.5 points, and the junior varsity boys came along with a placement of second with 162 points. 

This past Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, the Tigers traveled to Dallas for the Dr. Napoleon B. Lewis Sr. Invitational.

My expectations are to have competitive boys and girls teams on the track in April at the district track meet.

— Head Track Coach Astin Greer

Competing against unfamiliar teams, the varsity girls placed sixth overall with 52 points, while the junior varsity girls placed third 38 points. 

On the boys side, varsity came in second with 93 points, and junior varsity finished first with 112 points. 

“The kids were nervous because [we were competing in] Dallas,” Greer said. “I wasn’t worried, but I sold it to them like we were walking into a warzone. They showed up and showed out like Texas High usually does.” 

On top of the athletic aspect, academics also plays a role in the success of the team. Failures in the classroom aren’t an option for a sport with a season as compacted as track’s is. 

“Our kids are working off the track as well, they work hard in the classroom,” Greer said. “I also want to thank the academic advisors in the front office. They are [working diligently] to help these kids reach their goals socially and academically and I don’t think they really know how much I love and appreciate them on a daily basis! “

With the rest of the season ahead of them and multiple big meets to look forward to, Greer and his athletes plan to continue to put in the hard work that they have been putting in since the off season. 

“Every single person should have an impact on the season, they just have to put the work in,” Greer said. “There’s lots of room for improvement as we continue to wait to get back some athletes that are still injured.  I’m happy with where we are right now because I know we will be faster as we continue to advance through the season.”