By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun
Robin Henley's voice was emphatic, and her words were to the point .
“People are sleeping on us. They don't believe in us,'' said Henley, who runs on all three of the relay teams for Corsicana's girls track & field team.
Then she made her point.
“We are going to regionals,'' she said.
Henley believes along with the other runners who make up Corsicana's boys and girls relay teams.
The Tigers will take that hope and that confidence into Thursday's District 16-4A finals in Lindale, where they plan on making a name for this year's track & field team and for the program in the future.
The top four in each event advance to the area meet next week, and the top four move on to the regional meet from there.
That's what Henley is talking about, making strides.
Both boys and girls teams are anchored by the three relay teams, which will all run Thursday in the finals, and, of course, the Tigers boys team has Noah Gilfillan.
Gilfillan won the district title in the pole vault on Wednesday to give Corsicana 10 points.
Gilfillan is one of the top pole vaulters in the nation and the district meet is just the first step for the senior, who wants to finish his high school career with a state title. He was second in the state last year, but that's because he had a strained hamstring.
“I'm 100 percent healthy now,'' said Gilfillan, who has already accepted a scholarship from Arkansas, the premier track & field program in the NCAA. “I'm ready to do something. I'd like to jump 18 feet before the year is out .''
Gilfillan, who has cleared 17-1 in his career, didn't need much to win district. He cleared 15-7 to get the title and move on to the area meet. Lakeem Christmas finished second in the triple jump with a jump of 41 feet, 7-inches as Corsicana's boys racked up 18 points on Wednesday when only a few field events were held. Most of the meet will be today when finals in all the running events and the discus, long jump and high jump will be held.
Henley, Moesha Tolliver, Sha Sha Taylor and anchor McKenzie Lee run on the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams along with Mychellette Andrews.
Xavier Bradley, who also competes in the 300-meter hurdles, Kaley Washington, Tray Owens and freshman JaMicah Polk run on the three relay teams for the boys along with Christmas, Lathan Carter and Ryan Brown.
“I feel pretty good about where we are,'' Corsicana boys track & field coach Wayne Braziel said before the team left for Lindale. “Our kids have gotten better every week. We're building here. Our junior varsity teams won this year and we have a good freshmen class coming up.
“This year our relay teams are right there,'' he said of the prospect of moving on to the area meet. “Our 4x400 is third or fourth going in, and our 4x100 and 4x200 teams are between second and fourth going in. We have a chance to get out in all three, and Xavier is right there in the 300 hurdles and Danair Martin has a chance in the high jump.''
It could be an impressive meet for both the boys and girls teams.
“Our team is built around the relays,'' said CHS girls track & field Coach Bubba Wallace, who believes this year's relay group has a chance to make a statement. “Two years ago we went to the state meet and last year we went to area. Sha Sha has been running on the relay teams since she was a freshman and McKenzie and Robin ran on the relay teams last year.''
Lee, an All-Golden Circle volleyball player, said the girls relay teams want to leave their mark and make an impression on a community that doesn't support track & field like other sports.
“Track in this community is not the sport people believe in,'' Lee said. “We want to change that. We want to make a statement.''