Track team re-writes Cat record book
De Soto's 2005 track and field team broke records at such an alarming pace that the pace itself set a new record.
The Wildcats established six new records, some of which were broken more than once, including five individual bests. The 2000 team held the previous record for standards set in a season when it broke five marks.
Two Wildcats had at least a hand in breaking more than one record this season. Senior Casey Johnson now has his name atop the Wildcat honor list in the boys 800 meter run (1:53.6) and the 1,600 (4:18.4).
Melissa Roberts broke the record for the girls 1,600, twice, before settling on a time of 5:20.00. She also ran a leg on the record setting 3,200 relay team that originally set a new mark of 10:08.01.
Now Lauren Karnitz, Katie James, Carrie Wilbert and Morgan Frehe hold the record time of 10:02.57 set at the state track meet in late May. Jackie Goleman set a new school benchmark in 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.9 and freshman Roxanne Grizzle's second-place regional effort of 130 feet, 3 inches was good for a new Wildcat mark in that event.
Although the Wildcats had plenty of talent on the team this year, Roberts hinted that the difference for De Soto might have been the dedication that each athlete demonstrated for the team.
"I think our biggest accomplishment was how we went from scoring points for ourselves to scoring points for the team," senior Roberts said. "It put the focus back on the team. We were a group of hard-working people who also knew how to have fun and accomplished great things."
Roberts was especially fond of the time she spent with the distance runners.
"For over a year, we worked really well together," she said. "It's easy to do when you're surrounded by people who support you and are trying to do the same things that you are."
Many fans around the area admired the talents of Wildcat performers like Johnson, Goleman and Roberts. Even some of his high school teammates looked up to the future Air Force runner.
Roberts was no different. She not only appreciated her own accomplishments, but those of her teammates as well.
"Jackie was awesome at every meet," Roberts said of the sophomore hurdler and high jumper. "Casey was incredible too. And as for me breaking that record (1,600), that was cool too."
After deliberating about the past accomplishments of this year's track team, Roberts took time to reflect on what it all meant for the future of De Soto track.
Although coaches Chris McAfee and Lori Brooks will be without the services of Johnson, Roberts and other seniors, Roberts still sees a program on the rise.
"I think we have some talented kids coming up from the middle school," Roberts said. "The program has just built on itself every year. It's great to see running become so popular again."