Strong group set to return for new season
Following a state silver might be a tall task for anyone but Fredericksburg High School’s varsity girls’ track team.
The Billies return 21 athletes from a team that won everything but a UIL Class 4A championship last season.
“Last year was definitely a fun year, winning district, area, regional and placing second as a team,” coach Dan Aldrich said. “We had a very talented group of girls last year in many events that were able to score enough points to accomplish those awards.”
Graduated senior Megan Daley, who scored 26 points at the state meet and now plies her trade with Baylor University’s track and field team, leaves a big hole in the middle of the track team.
“In order for us to return to the level we were at last year, we will be working on developing more girls to compete at the level Megan was at last year over multiple events,” Aldrich said. “We have many girls who can do this that are returning from last year’s team, but the key will be keeping them healthy and hoping our competition does not have the same talent pool in the same events.”
The goals remain the same for FHS: win the District 28-4A, 27/28-4A Area and Region IV-4A track meets, with a chance to finish in the top six at state.
Individual development, with the aim to make sure each athlete is at her best by the end of the season, is also on the top of the priority list.
“All of the team and individual goals will be a challenge, as each year is a different year,” Aldrich said. “Sometimes you can return everyone from a previous year championship team and not even get to the state meet. Track is unique when compared to other sports because the majority of the success is dependent on how the rest of the state talent falls within an event.
“There are 17 events we compete in, and we will have to continue to build depth in each event for our early season titles, with a focus on seeking first place honors within as many events as possible.”
Right now, the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays are expected to be a strength. The 4x400 relay returns Anna Gold, Molly Pluenneke and Aleah Constantine from last year, and a group of five runners will compete for that final spot.
Gold also finished fifth in the 400-meter dash at state.
Plenty of depth returns at all of the field events except for high jump, which was one of Daley’s strongest events.
Individual running events will be anchored by the girls running in the 4x400 relay.
“We also have many returning letterman where we are 2-3 deep in each event, working on continuing to add team depth points,” Aldrich said.
Pluenneke, Kacie Brannan, AJ Davis, Ana Montoya, Oneida Rodriguez and Mia Torres are returning seniors.
Constantine, Sydney Holster, Caitie Huff, Kambree Kothmann, Allison Munoz, Daisy Perez, Julissa Sanchez and Liz Sebera are juniors with experience.
Gold, Mary Armes, Landry Dartez, Kamryn Robinson, Landri Sagebiel, Sydney Slaughter and Jade Whiting were on varsity as freshmen.
District and regionals will be a little bit tougher after the most recent realignment.
Wimberley and Llano move into the district. Llano sophomore Anna Casey won state championships in the 800 and 1600 meter runs last year and also took the UIL Class 4A individual cross-country championship in 2018. Region IV-4A also returns three defending state champions in individual events.
Feb. 7-Dual Meet, Kerrville.
Feb. 16-AJ Loth Relays, Fredericksburg.
Feb. 23-Canyon Lake.
March 23-New Braunfels Canyon.
March 28-Carlin Wicker Relays, Fredericksburg.
April 3-4-District 28-4A meet, Canyon Lake.
April 15-27/28-4A area meet, Liberty Hill.
April 26-17-Region IV-4A meet, Kingsville.
May 10-11-UIL Class 4A state meet, Austin.