Running faster and jumping higher: Nation Ford has South Carolina track title hopes
Getting off to a good start can mean everything in track, but like in every sport, it’s how you finish that counts.
For the Nation Ford girls’ track team the start has been good, but that finish could be even better and see them atop of the podium in May at the state meet. The Falcons team is led by several athletes including field athlete Skylar Holmes, sprinter Angelnique Bryant and long distance runner Katie Pou, all of who could rack up points at the state meet in May to help Nation Ford’s chances.
Holmes participates in three events – the long jump, triple jump and 400 meters. Bryant is more of your sprint specialist competing in the 100 and 200 meters, the 4x100 and the long jump. And Pou, a defending state champion in cross-country, is a long distance specialist in the 800-meters, 1,600-meters and 3,200-meters. However, Pou is nursing some injuries and has a boot on her right foot, though she hopes to return by the state qualifier in early May.
The Nation Ford girls track team won its first five meets of the year, including several multi-team meets like the Diamond Hornets Invitational, Clash of the Carolinas, and Trojan Relays. However, the Falcons did slip up against Rock Hill. They lost another meet on Wednesday, to crosstown rival Fort Mill.
“The Rock Hill meet was certainly a wake-up call for us,” said Falcons’ head track coach Christopher Ross. “We have to understand it takes everyone for us to do well. We are looking forward to competing for the rest of the season. On the girls’ side, they are excited and amped.”
For Holmes, just a sophomore, she said she just goes out trying to do her job each meet and lets the points take care of themselves.
“I have been focused on myself and training and focusing on the end goal,” she said. “I want to stay focus and not get too head of myself. I go into meets to do my best and the rest will take care of itself.”
Holmes said her favorite event is the triple jump just because of how unique it is compared to other events.
“I like it,” she said. “It’s a different event. It is kind of cool. Not many people do it.”
For Bryant, a senior, her future is already mapped out, so she wants to finish strong because she said she knows people are still watching.
“I am focused on getting better times,” she said. “I am focused on better times and not focused on winning.”
Bryant said she knows the wins will come if her times improve. She is already committed to go run at USC-Upstate next year.
“It takes a little pressure off, but people look at me like I need to win everything,” she said.
Heading into the final stretch of the season, Holmes said she is concentrating on her strength and conditioning, while Bryant is focused on bettering her times. They both agree they have a good chance at the state meet of doing well as the more teams that are competing; the points become more spread out.
“The talent is here and it is pushing us forward,” Holmes said, regarding the team.
“Everyone is stepping up,” Bryant added.
Ross said the possibilities excite him about what the girl’s team can do come May at the state championships.
“We are excited and fired up,” he said. “We are going to do our best and see how it plays out. We do have depth in certain areas, but we do have gaps, so if everyone does what they should do, we should be there.”
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM