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Girls looking at good showing at district meet

Halifax County High School girls indoor track Head Coach Mary Douglas isn’t one to make bold predictions, but she does think her team has the potential to make a good showing at Saturday’s Western Valley District track meet.

The meet, with the Western Valley District and Blue Ridge District competing simultaneously, is being held at Tolsma Track Center at Liberty University, with competition starting at 9:30 a.m.

“Our goal is to come in no less than second,” said Douglas.

“I think we have a lot of potential, and I think this group this year is a lot more willing to work.

“I’ve seen them knock time off and actually competing with each other and encouraging each other.”

Douglas noted the team has been very much competitive in each of the meets they’ve been at this season, with times coming down in several events, including the 4x200 relay, where that team has knocked off at least five seconds.

Douglas is looking for that relay team to qualify for state competition on Saturday.

“They’ve knocked time off the 300, and they’re running faster in the hurdles,” said Douglas, who is trying out some new people in the high jump, another area of improvement. 

Junior Tylisia Crews, who has qualified for the regionals in the 4x200-meter relay and 55-meter dash, wants to medal (top-three) in three events Saturday, including the 300-meter dash.

“My times have gotten better and I’ve gotten more motivated,” said Crews, who likes the attitude shown by the team this season.

“We work harder.  There are more people out here to run rather than socialize, and practices have become more productive.

Sophomore Tyrika Lee and freshman Kayla Forest have pushed each other in the 300-meter dash.

Lee has qualified for regionals in the 300, 55 meters and the 4x200 relay.

The smaller number of girls on the team has created a camaraderie that’s made them better, she pointed out.

“We’ve done pretty good, and we’ve improved a lot,” said Lee.

“It’s a smaller group of girls, but that’s made our team better because we’re closer and can give each other constructive criticism.”

Naturally, high school track is more difficult than middle school, according to Forest, who has qualified for regionals in the 4x200 relay and the 300.

“It’s a whole lot different, you have to work harder, and it’s helped me pick up my times a whole lot, because my teammates work with me a whole lot.”

“My speed and my attitude have both improved this year,” added Forest.

“I think the team has done well and have a chance to do well at the districts.”

The competition between her and Lee has benefited both runners.

“I’m a few seconds behind, and I’ve cut into it a little,” Forest pointed out.

Douglas said her team’s goal is to win districts or at least come home in second-place.

“Our goal is try to and win it, and we have the potential to do that,” she pointed out.

“Things happen, and people go in with good times and have an off day so it may change, but our goal is to come in no less than second.

“I don’t think we’re as strong as we’d like to be, but I do think we’re better than last year.”

Halifax is deep in sprinters but light on distance runners, with Baylee Snead, Jessica Hinds, LaShawn Johnson and Taiesha Logan pegged to run the longer distances Saturday.

“We look like we have a pretty good chance at doing well at the meet, it all depends on what happens that day,” explained Douglas.

“I’m optimistic, not to the point of getting my hopes too high, it changes at any given moment, but win, lose or draw I’m pleased with what we’ve done this season.

“We haven’t won a lot of meets, but it’s not all about winning as far as I’m concerned, it’s about improvement along the way.”

Her team continues to demonstrate a good attitude and work ethic, she added.

“It’s nice when you can laugh and joke, but they’ve been working together and encouraging each other.

“I like that.”