AUSTIN (KVEO) – Last weekend track and field athletes from all classes competed in Austin for the UIL state track and field meet.
Two 1A schools in the Rio Grande Valley had qualifiers that competed for the first time.
Lasara ISD made school history by sending not just one, but three track and field athletes to the state meet in Austin.
“It was very exciting, very surreal being able to represent my school in such a different environment way different than what I’ve been used to,” said junior Victoria Velazquez, who placed 8th in the 3200-meter run.
Velazquez and fellow junior Selissa Gonzales missed out on their sophomore seasons as Lady Lions, and the opportunity to qualify for the state meet.
“It was really a dream come true. This wasn’t really on my agenda back in January and as the season progressed I was like ‘ok I think I can actually make it.’ My trainer was really encouraging he was like ‘I know you can make it’ and I was like ‘ok’ and then I was there and I was like ‘wow I’m here this is amazing,'” said Gonzales.
Gonzales placed 3rd in the 800 meter run and 9th in the 1600 meter run.
“It means a lot, I’m really proud that I’m getting to represent my school and my small town,” said Gonzales.
Lasara freshman Xiomara Rodriguez placed 2nd in discus throw and 7th in shot put.
“It was amazing because the window of opportunity was so small for me because since I’m a freshman, not a lot of freshman can make it you know, it’s very rare but it was amazing overall,” said Rodriguez.
These three student-athletes went from a town with a population of 835, to running in Mike Myers Stadium on the University of Texas at Austin campus. A near-capacity of 20,000 fans, all eyes on the competitors.
“I was definitely a little bit more nervous you know, seeing all those people there and all those other athletes had worked just as hard to get there and seeing them prepare and them have their game faces on. It made me feel like I belonged and this is my moment. I can run I can show them what I got,” said Velazquez.
San Perlita also sent a lone qualifier to represent at the state track and field meet.
Junior high Jumper Ely Terry won the region high jump title, with a jump of 6 feet 2 inches, a personal record and a tie for 2nd best among the nine who qualified for state.
At his trip to Austin, he was the lone Trojan to represent, taking 6th place with a jump of 5 feet 10 inches in the boys 1A high jump.
“It was a good feeling, I love representing the school and it’s a good school,” Terry said about San Perlita. “I feel like I did my best, this is my first year doing high jump so I feel like it’s a pretty good accomplishment.”