Without question, the athletic program that attained the most success in the 2012-13 school year at Van Alstyne was the girls’ track and field program, thouth tThe Howe Lady Bulldogs had a great year on the track, as well.
For Van Alstyne, the Lady Panthers captured their first district championship in many seasons. Led by the 34-point performance of Sierra Motley, Van Alstyne out-pointed Sunnyvale, 127-121 to take the District 12-2A title. Motley finished first in the triple jump and high jump, fourth in the 100-meter hurdles and ran a leg on each of the first place relay teams in the 4x100 and 4x200 events.
Motley led a contingent of area qualifiers in 12 events.
This was the first year that district qualifiers competed in area meets, a new step towards advancement to the regional finals. Athletes from teams in District 12-2A and 11-2A competed at the area level. Joining Motley at the area meet in Pottsboro were Lady Panther athletes Maddy Morris, Sydney Sprowl, Raigan Servati, Molly McQuirk, Madeline Carroll and Hannah Fernandez.
Sprowl was the district champion in the 200-meters while Fernandez won the pole vault.
The Lady Panthers continued their winning ways at the area meet in Pottsboro, scoring 107 points to win that meet. They captured 40 of those points with wins in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays to advance both teams to the regional meet. Van Alstyne had first place finishes by Maddy Morris in the 100 meters and Sydney Sprowl in the 200 meters. Other regional qualifiers were Hannah Fernandez in the pole vault, Molly McQuirk in the 3200-meter run and Sierra Motley in the high jump and triple jump.
Motley finished second in the high jump at Stephenville to earn a spot at the state meet in Austin to cap her outstanding senior season.
The Howe Lady Bulldog track team also basked in the glow of success.
Where VA had its Motley, Howe was led by senior Morgan Bailey. Moby, as she is known to those in Howe, anchored Lady Bulldog relay teams which finished second in the 4x200 and 4x400 meter races at the District 11-2A meet. She won the 300-meter hurdles and finished second in the triple jump as Howe finished second to Pottsboro in the team totals.
Baleigh Hudman set a new school record in the 800-meter run, covering the distance in 2:28.09 for a first place medal. Tiffany Lallier captured first place in the high jump, while Jessie Queen was second in the 1600-meter run, after a fourth place finish in the 3200-meters. Riley Harvey also qualified for the area meet, finishing third in the high jump and fourth in the 200-meters. The Lady Bulldog 4x100 meter relay team finished third to earn an area meet berth, as well.
Bailey continued her winning ways at the area meet, capturing regional berths with a first place finish in the triple jump, a third in the long jump and a second place in the 300-meter hurdles. Hudman finished fourth in the 800 meters to earn a trip to Stephenville. The Howe 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams also advanced to the regional meet.
Bailey capped off her senior season with a state qualifying effort in the 300-meter hurdles.
An outstanding track season for two outstanding programs.