Mansfield Express helping youth get track and field experience
06/16/2014 10:22 AM
06/16/2014 10:23 AM
The four Mansfield ISD high schools can’t be anything but excited about the success of the Mansfield Express track and field program.
Competing in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF), Mansfield has built the program into one of the region’s top teams. The Express now boasts almost 120 competitors, said Nick Garcia, Recreation Specialist for the Mansfield Parks and Recreation Department.
The program allows for young athletes to be introduced to the sport of track and field and specifically, to the various events available.
For the older or more experienced track and field competitors, the program helps fine-tune technique and complements their varsity participation.
Now in its 11th year, the program for athletes from ages 8-18 has also produced the area’s first Athlete of the Year.
Vishal Singh was selected as the Mansfield Male Athlete of the Year and progressed on to the regional and subsequently, the state’s top male athlete through the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation.
Singh took home four gold medals in the regional meet and at the state meet, won a gold medal as a member of the 4x400m relay, a silver in the long jump, a bronze in the triple jump and a fourth place in the 110m hurdles.
The Athlete of the Year award was presented to Singh by Robert Griffin III, although Singh was unable to be physically present for the ceremony.
Singh is now a member of the Mansfield track team and is also active in drama and theater.
Garcia said the Express is now run by just its second tandem of coaches, which has afforded a consistency in training and development.
When the program began, there were only 10-15 athletes involved. Coaches Henry and Gina Anderson helped guide and build the program and have handed the program over to new coaches, Shernita and Terrance McMilan.
The team from Mansfield will compete in five open meets before entering one of the state’s toughest district meets, comprised of Dallas-Fort Worth area teams.
This weekend, the team will compete at Chisholm Trail and then will travel to Little Elm.
The regional meet will be held July 18-19 at The Colony, with the state meet at College Station on July 30-Aug. 2. The state meet is part of the TAAF Games of Texas event. The Games of Texas consist of 14 sports ranging from disc golf, kickball, skateboarding, soccer, softball and swimming to bowling, boxing and baseball.
The team members can enter three events as a standard slate, but can register on their own for additional events past what the team allots.
Although the season is underway, Garcia said the program is always open to athletes who have an interest. The Mansfield Parks and Recreation department works with the Mansfield ISD to coordinate workouts and practice locations during the course of the summer.
For more information, contact Garcia at the Mansfield Activity Center at 817-453-5420.
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