AP NEWS

Roper pushes Spring girls track to next level

May 4, 2018

Second-year Spring track and field head coach Brittany Roper’s goal this year was to finish first in district, after placing second last year, and have the 4x4 relay team make it to area.

The Lions were successful last season but the program was hopeful to be even more this year.

The team was solid behind its seniors and with the help of the underclassmen they accomplished their mission.

“They’ve worked really hard this season, I’m extremely proud of them because they’ve worked really hard,” Roper said. “I know how hard they’ve worked.”

Spring captured the District 16-6A women’s varsity team title with 128.5 points at the UIL District 16-6A meet, April 3-5, at Spring High School.

Last year’s team also did well with a bunch of athletes making it to regionals and one advancing to state in G’Auna Edwards.

Edwards placed second (19-02.50) in the long jump, third (41.72) in the 300m hurdles, fourth (13.59) in the 100m hurdles and sixth (5-06.00) in the high jump at Austin.

Edwards was the only graduating senior a year ago.

She was very helpful, beneficial to the team but Roper had a freshman come in that took her spot rather easily in Ma’kayla Flakes.

“Luckily we’ve been blessed with that,” Roper said.

Flakes runs the 400m, 800m, 4x4 relay and also long jumps.

“She’s stepped up and done everything that we’ve asked her to do,” Roper said. “She had some big shoes to fill and she’s filled them pretty well.”

Malaysa Randle and Aliyah Mallard were the senior captains. Randle runs the 400m, 800m and 4x4 while Mallard runs the 200m, 400m and 4x4.

“They’ve become great leaders I’m very proud of them,” Roper said. “They’re very intellectual in helping our team, keeping them focused and being the ones to look up to.”

Not only have Randle and Mallard been spearheads with their times but also at practice. They’ve lead the team to where they got.

Junior Chasmin Parker was the fourth member of the 4x4. Those four have been the key runners.

“That 4x4 have done really well this season, there’s a lot of potential for them,” Roper said.

Kaislyn Lyons is another one of the seniors and was involved in a lot of events, which really helped out the team.

“Her attitude it awesome, half the girls look up to her for attitude purposes,” Roper said. Not only with athletics but in the classroom.”

The Spring girls track and field program continues to grow every year.

The season overall went really well. Despite not winning any meets, the team was successful in most of the meets.

The Lions placed eighth (43) at the 6A Area 15/16 meet, April 18-19, at Klein Memorial Stadium.

Then they placed 23rd with nine points at the 6A Region II meet, April 27-28, at Midway High School.

They placed second at last year’s district meet with 139 points, finishing behind Eisenhower’s 176.

“Our program continues to grow in the distance area,” Roper said. “We are losing a lot of big pieces this year, losing three pretty substantial seniors.”

However, the program has more junior high kids that are coming in.

Roper’s foundation is built around her relationship with the two feeder schools. She tries going to practice, talks to the kids and lets them see her face.

It’s also important for her to attend the junior high district meets and talk to all the kids, complimenting them on their achievements.

Roper has been coaching track and field for eight years and has been at Spring the past two.

“I love our athletes, I love our kids,” Roper said.

District meet results

Mallard placed first (57.58) in the 400m and Flakes second (57.85). Flakes and Randle placed second (2:25.95) and third (2:29.82) in the 800m.

Mallard also placed fourth (25.65) in the 200m and Flakes fourth (16-02.75) in the long jump.

Darian Paul placed second (5:44.77) in the 1600m and Chloe Whitener placed second (13:28.94) in the 3200m.

Lyons placed fourth (47.39) in the 300m hurdles.

The 4x400 relay team of Randle, Parker, Mallard and Flakes placed first (3:56.65).

The 4x100 relay team of Madison McClintock, Laquel Berry, Mikel Robinson and Brandi Dunn placed fourth (53.50).

Hayley Westley and Masiyah Barringer placed third (33) and fourth (31-01.5) in the shot put.

Faith Longoria and Donnaven Alexander placed first (7-00) and second (6-06) in the pole vault.

Area

The 4x400 meter relay team placed first (3:54.56), Flakes placed second (57.05) in the 400m dash and Mallard third (57.09).

Regional

The 4x400 meter relay team placed fourth (3:54.5), Flakes placed sixth (58.20) in the 400m dash and Mallard seventh (58.66).

alvaro.montano@chron.com