Howie Ryan Invitational to test Bobcats in Houston after week off

Sports Reporter

The Texas State track and field team will look to improve this weekend when the Bobcats travel back to Houston for the Howie Ryan Invitational.

Texas State is one of 10 schools attending the meet. The other teams competing are Lamar, McNeese State, Sam Houston State, Northwestern State, Rice, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Houston Baptist, Houston and San Diego State.  

The Bobcats traveled to Houston Jan. 11 to open their indoor season. The team has now had two weeks to prepare for this meet after having last weekend off. Coach Dana Boone has mixed feelings about the extra week off.

“I think it’s always a good thing, but it can be a good thing and a bad thing,” Boone said. “Obviously you like to compete as many times as you can, but (it’s a good thing) when you have a week off to get some extra work in.
Hopefully the kids are a little bit more hungry now that they’ve had a week off, and they can see what their competition is doing.”

Unlike previous meets, this meet will not compile all of the team scores, so there will not be a team winner. Instead, all scores will be individually recorded for each athlete.

One of the teams looking to improve is the 4-x-400 meter relay team consisting of freshman Marika Brown, sophomore Amber Gilmore, junior Briana Sharp and senior Tina Valenzuela. They have a chance to dethrone Western Kentucky and take the top time in the Sun Belt Conference. The Texas State 4x400 team recorded a time of 3:48.94, just 1.94 seconds behind Western Kentucky.

“Staying focused is the number one thing and not resting on the fact that we have a championship,” Sharp said.”(We) still feel like we’re the underdogs. So we try to stay humble and understand that. We need to maintain our best each week if we want to succeed.”

Boone’s message of always improving and working on the little things will be put to the test this week, and many athletes will have the opportunity to record personal bests.

“We’re just going to keep getting better and better,” Boone said. “The beauty of track and field is the clock doesn’t lie, and the tape measure doesn’t lie. We’ll know those things based on performance. I know there have been event groups that have been ironing things out so hopefully things will start to click really soon.”