Ready, set….not so fast.
That’s what Stephenville sophomore Hailey Martin’s mindset is right now as she prepares to head to Lubbock this weekend to take part in the 4A Region I track meet where she’ll be competing in five events.
“There’s a lot of excitement, sure,” she said. “But right now, my goal is to just make the finals in my event first. I’m not pushing myself to make it to state before I am in the race to make it there. I just want to qualify for the finals before I start thinking about state.”
With a veteran-like approach to the regional meet, the excitement may not be showing to everyone around her. But make no mistake, she’s as happy as ever to be in this position.
“It was a really cool feeling to qualify in all five of my events,” she said. “I had never had that kind of a feeling before. Coach Copeland and Coach Butchee were always there pushing me. My teammates were really excited for me and that was cool to be a part of.”
Over the weekend, Martin will take part in the long and triple jumps in the field. On the track she’ll compete in the 100M hurdles and the 4x100M and 4x200M relays.
At this point, she says there isn’t a whole lot she can do to prepare further.
“It all has to do with being a competitor at this point,” said Martin. “You have to want to push yourself. Times are going to be better or worse, but only fractionally. It’s going to be about pushing yourself and hoping that you can compete at a high level. There are no easy races anymore.”
Martin is aware of where she stands. She knows she’s going to have to compete at a high level to not only qualify for state, but to qualify for the finals this weekend. Looking ahead, she’s focused on what she has to do.
“I’m going to have to keep working really hard,” Martin said. “Right now I’m in the middle of the pack in most of my events. I’m just going to have to put my faith in God and hope that He helps me do my best and compete at a high level this weekend.”
While she’ll be competing in a slew of events, one has caught Martin’s eye - the 100M hurdles - and she can’t wait to get down in the block for the race.
“I’m really excited about running the hurdles this weekend,” she said. “I didn’t get to do that last year, but when I watched it, it was just a really fast race. I’m hoping that’s going to be really fun.”
Apart from everyone else’s expectations, Martin has set one goal for herself, a hard, but a predictable one. State or bust.
“It would be amazing for me to make state,” she said. “That’s everyone’s goal, to qualify for the state meet. It’s in Austin and everyone there is going to be fast and elite at what they do. If I could make it there it would be a great thing that I’d really enjoy.”
The Stephenville regional track qualifiers will be competing in the meet over the weekend in Lubbock. There are 14 athletes from Stephenville competing.