Watty Myers

Texas High holds 45th annual home track meet

Story by Kailyn WIlliams, Sports Editor

Tiger track held their first of two home meets this season Mar. 9, 2023 with the 45th annual Watty Myers meet. 

The junior varsity boys team took first place with 221 points overall. The boys prevailed in most sprinting events, including the 100 and 400 meter dashes, 110 and 300 meter hurdles and both the 400 and 800 meter relays. 

Freshman Roman Wyatt and sophomore Carter Walker are two athletes competing with the junior varsity boys’ team who greatly impact scores. 

Despite being a freshman in the midst of his first high school season, Wyatt is not intimidated by competition. 

“One of the main things I think about before a race is to just compete,” Wyatt said. “I know I’m a freshman but I also know I work harder than my competitors, and I’ve shown my coaches that.”

For the varsity boys, the Tigers finished the meet with a total of 133 points, second only to Atlanta. 

The Tigers put out strong performances across the board in the sprinting events, with freshman Tradarian Ball taking first place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.51 seconds. 

However the highlight of the meet came when sophomore Jolly Karnell on the 1600 meter relay beat Atlanta right at the finish line and was stormed by his team. 

“I’m proud of the strong finish by Karnell.  He was moved up that week for that specific race and he did not disappoint!” Head Track Coach Astin Greer said. “The other three legs really set the tone for the race, so Karnell didn’t have much of a choice but to match their energy.”

Karnell went into the race with a strong winning mentality, all he worried about was securing the victory for his team. 

“Before the race, Atlanta was talking about how bad they were going to beat us, since we haven’t beaten them in the [1600 meter relay] in a few years,” Karnell said. “When I grabbed the stick, I just thought about how bad I wanted to beat them. We were right there at the finish line and it took a lot of effort, I just wanted it more.” 

Shifting to the girls’ side, the junior varsity girls finished second to Pine Tree with a total of 140 points. 

Freshman Kyleigh Perkins and Deja Aubrey aided the JV girls in their second ranking with Perkins finishing first in the 200 meter dash and taking part in the winning 800 and 400 meter relays, and Aubrey finishing first in the 400 meter dash and second in long jump. 

“During my races, I know my coaches and teammates are depending on me to do my job and get the stick around,” Perkins said. “Therefore, I try to pace myself to stay ahead of the crowd and get my team in a good position.”

Perkins also placed first for Texas in high jump, finishing with a height of four feet and eight inches. 

The varsity girls finished fifth overall with a total of 66 points. 

Senior Daniela Hernandez finished first in the 1600 meter run, with a time of 5:53.31, and junior Zoe Vanderhoof finished first in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 53.13.

Overall, the Tigers felt pleased with their performance at the end of the Watty Myers Relays. 

“Texas High’s student-athletes were phenomenal from start to finish at the Watty Myer’s Relays,” Greer said. “Everyone ran well and cheered each other on as they won.”

With the district meet swiftly approaching, Greer is focused on putting his athletes where they will produce the best, while still staying healthy and on top of their school work.

The most important things now are having the kids in the events that they can score points in at the district meet next month and [keeping them] healthy,” Greer said. “They are all doing their best right now.  I just need them to continue to focus on their classwork and show up to practice.  The coaches will take care of the rest.”

Though the 45th Watty Myers meet has come to a close, the importance of the meet is what has kept it alive all these years, and hopefully for many more years to come. It is not just about winning a race or earning a medal, but giving our Texas High athletes a chance to perform for the people they love, at the place that they love. 

“This track meet has been going on since before I was born and hopefully will continue for another 100 years.  It’s a tradition in the Texas High athletic program that is bigger than any coach,” Greer said. “It’s about the kids that come through this school and giving them the opportunity to compete here at their home meet in front of their parents and this community.”