Raptors Run From Regionals to State

Juan Ramirez (JC) Delgadillo, Staff Writer

It’s only the first year of LASA’s athletic split from LBJ, and already, a multitude of LASA teams and individual athletes have made it to area and regionals competitions, including the track and field team. The team is smaller this year and undergoing many changes but succeeding nonetheless at the regional and area meet with some runners that made it to state. 

Senior Elyse Hall, a varsity cross country and track captain, has been running cross country and track throughout her entire high school career. According to Hall, the training for competitive track meets is based on practices far before meet week.

“Most of the preparation for regionals comes many weeks before the hard workouts that prepare us,” Hall said. “In the week of, training lightens up, and we just try to focus on eating healthy, hydrating and having the proper mindset.”

Head track coach and athletic coordinator Bryan Crews is in charge of the logistical side of athletics. He plans and organizes which track meets the athletes will run at and signs everyone up to participate. While runners are practicing and working to prepare for meets, Crews is behind the scenes to assist and support the athletes.

“My job as head coach was to organize practices, submit meet entries, supervise the athletes and try to be supportive of their efforts,” Crews said.

To qualify for area, runners have to place high in the district meet. After the area meet is regionals, then state. Runners can qualify for these meets as a team in a relay or individually. Junior and varsity track runner Lane Loudamy qualified for regionals in the 4×200, where each of the four runners in the relay ran a 200-meter leg.

“At district, we placed third in the 4×100 and first in the 4×200, so we qualified for area in both events,” Loudamy said. “At area, we didn’t place high enough in the 4×100 to qualify for regionals, but we placed third in the 4×200, qualifying us to run at regionals.”

According to Loudamy, regionals is a very competitive meet. Because the competition is so high, it gets harder for runners to place on the podium. In these cases, a personal record, or PR, is an important goal. 

“Regionals is super fun because it’s a huge meet with a ton of insanely talented athletes,” Loudamy said. “We didn’t place very high at regionals. However, we ran a PR and had very clean handoffs, so we were happy with the result.” 

LASA runs in District 17-5A due to the size of the school and sports teams, as well as the region of Texas it is located in. Before running at the district event, the team participates in invitational meets like the St. Andrews Invitational.

“I was proud of all our kids, but it was great to see such a large group make it to area,” Crews said. “The area qualifiers were Asa Shepard, Kenechi Ezekoye, Tate Smith, Harrison Gregg, Reiko Andrews, Ruby Sulter, Lane Loudamy, Clare Kalapati, Jack Wier, Josef Stone, Kepler Huntress, Emily Thompson, McKenzi Popper, Sophie Dale, Elyse Hall, Philip Metcalf, Abby Goff and Sheridan Wallace.” 

Reiko Andrews, Ruby Sulter, Lane Loudamy, Clare Kalapati, Kepler Huntress, Emily Thompson, McKenzi Popper, Sophie Dale, Elyse Hall, Philip Metcalf and Sheridan Wallace also qualified for regionals in their respective events. Because each competition is scheduled to start at a different time, it’s a tradition for teammates to cheer each other on as they run.

“The highlight of the regional meet was watching all of the LASA people qualify for state,” Hall said. “It was so exciting to see all of my teammates’ hard work pay off because they really deserve those state spots.”The runners to qualify for state were Philip Metcalf, Kepler Huntress and Sophie Dale. According to Hall, making it to state is a huge accomplishment. Half of the AISD runners to qualify for state were from LASA alone.

According to Crews, athletes aren’t the only ones who get nervous before meets — coaches feel the same. At important events like regional and state meets, nerves are high for everyone. 

“I’m always a little nervous for the kids during meets,” Crews said. “It’s always a thrill to see them succeed; it’s probably the most enjoyable aspect of my job.”