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Running toward district

Track teams to compete in two more meets before district

Courtesy of Sandra Allison
Junior Mackenzie Grimes takes the hurdles at the Amarillo Relays.

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The boys and girls track teams will compete at the UIL 3-5A District Track Meet April 11 after placing in the WT Classic, Canyon Invitational and other recent meets.

The girls as a team placed first in both of these track meets as well as Amarillo Relays. Among the girls who placed is junior Mackenzie Grimes, who placed first in the 300 meter hurdles, 100 meter hurdles and the mile relay.

“District is very close, and my goals have been to PR (personal record) in each meet and get faster in all of my events,” Grimes said. “I still have a long way to go, but I’m hoping to drop my times by a second and just run my best when district comes around.”

Grimes has four siblings who each ran track at the collegiate division 1 level, including her older brother, Norman, who is a student at Texas Tech University.

I’m thankful I had them to help me at a young age because it helped me grow in a lot of ways.”

— Mackenzie Grimes, 11

“When I was younger, the people that inspired me to run was definitely my family,” Grimes said. “They taught me how to run the right way and come off injuries. I’m thankful I had them to help me at a young age because it helped me grow in a lot of ways.”

Junior Caitlynne Speegle was able to return from a quad injury and compete in the Amarillo Relays meet last weekend. She finished second in the 400 meter dash and first in the mile relay.

“I want to continue to keep getting faster all around,” Speegle said. “My mindset going into the Lubbock meet this weekend is to run fast and keep a serious focus. I really just have a love for this sport and I try hard each day to make myself faster.”

Speegle said each practice and workout is usually very intense for the entire team.

“My relationship with my teammates is very close because of the bonds we’ve created by running every day,” Speegle said. “They are like my second family because we are together so much.”

Grimes said she enjoys an excellent rapport with Coach Ray Baca.

My mindset going into the Lubbock meet this weekend is to run fast and keep a serious focus.”

— Caitlynne Speegle

“We have a good communication between us,” Grimes said. “If something is bothering me or if something is working really well, I can tell him right away. Our relationship is based around trust that we have built over the years.”

The boys competed in the Dalhart meet March 24 and placed second overall as a team. Junior Beana Sebastiao finished first in the mile relay, 400 meter dash and 800 meter dash.

“My goal is ultimately to make it to state this year,” Sebastiao said. “I really want to finish in the top three at district in the 400 meter dash.”

Sebastiao said his motivation comes from the possibility of running track in college one day and the people around his everyday track life.

“I really want to earn a scholarship to run track in college,” Sebastiao said. “It motivates me a lot, but my teammates do, too. It is not easy running track every day, and it can get very exhausting. Knowing that my teammates are running hard as well just motivates me to keep running fast like they do each day.”

The boys will travel to Hereford this week and compete in a triangular meet next week to prepare for district.

“I just want to see them compete to the best of their ability, and hopefully when they do that, they get better,” Coach Cade Wartes said. “We are hoping to see a lot of improvement in these next couple meets.”

Since the Texas Tech meet at the beginning of the season, Sebastiao lowered his 400 meter dash time from 52 seconds to 50 seconds.

Ultimately, I’m running for myself, but I could never do this without them.”

— Beana Sebastiao, 11

“I’m happy for the tough workouts each week because I know it is for my benefit and can only make me better,” Sebastiao said. “I dread it sometimes because I know it’s another day I have to run hard on the track, but in my mind, I know I have to do it. I try to already have my mind set because I have to put in the effort and keep my pace.”

Wartes said he likes how this group of kids can always find a way to make difficult work fun.

“I love how they’re hard workers, good teammates to each other, and they’re all about the team,” Wartes said. “They display great character and class on the track as well as off the track.”

Sebastiao said he also has an excellent relationship with Coach Wesley Kirton, another track coach he has known since freshman year.

“Coach Kirton is like a dad and second parent to me,” Sebastiao said. “He is always making sure I’m feeling good and pushing myself just like my teammates. Ultimately, I’m running for myself, but I could never do this without them.”

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