State tournament appearances, district championships and individual medals were again prevalent for girls athletic programs across the campuses of the Mansfield ISD this year.
Summit’s basketball team went to the state tournament but had to get there after finishing third in the ultra-tough district along with Legacy, Timberview and Lake Ridge.
Timberview was the district champion, and Legacy also made the playoffs. That serves as just one example as to the depth of talent being developed.
But this is just high school athletics, where participation is treasured for the experience and learning opportunities available to a high school athlete. It’s also the stage where many of these young women are finding an opportunity to continue their athletic careers and education on the basis of their performances.
For these reasons – participation, success and opportunities – the Mansfield ISD girls programs are the envy of many area school districts.
The school year winds down this week, but for many MISD athletes, it’s just the start of another offseason to prepare for 2016-2017.
Individuals have excelled, such as Jasmine Moore, Lake Ridge’s double-gold medal winner in the triple jump and long jump.
Most, though, are high school girls who are afforded an opportunity to workout, tryout and compete at a freshman, JV or varsity level, just for the fun of competition and social interaction.
And the boom in the number of schools hasn’t diluted the talent pool.
“What’s miraculous is how competitive we’ve stayed in many different sports,” said Tammy Lusinger, the assistant athletic director for Mansfield ISD.
It was just Mansfield High until 2002, when Summit opened its doors. Timberview joined in 2004, Legacy in 2007 and Lake Ridge just four years ago.
“All the schools have things to be proud of. There are great kids, great coaches and great support all the way up to the superintendent,” Lusinger said.
Some of the other highlights from this season, starting with the first athletes to report back to school for practices, include Summit’s volleyball team winning the district title. Lake Ridge was third; Legacy, fourth. Summit made it to the regional semifinals in the postseason.
Mansfield’s volleyball team finished third and also went to the playoffs.
Soccer was another of the most hotly contested district races. Mansfield took home a district title but lost in the area round of the playoffs.
Legacy was District 14-5A’s champion, with Lake Ridge finishing in third.
Still, both Legacy and Lake Ridge fought their way to the regional semifinals before ending their seasons.
Having just concluded a strong softball season, both Mansfield and Legacy emerged as district champions. Timberview joined the two district champs in the postseason.
Individually, Lake Ridge golfer Caitlyn Lindell and Timberview’s Aysis Azarcon qualified to compete at the state tournament.
Cross country standout Lauryn Doublet of Summit qualified to run at the state meet, while in swimming, Lake Ridge sent three relays to the state meet and individuals, Kylie Sheppard of Lake Ridge and Haley Yelle of Legacy each made the trip to Austin.
Mansfield’s state swimmers included Lauren Thompson and Sara McClendon, who competed in four events between them.
In addition to Moore’s gold in track and field, Lake Ridge also saw Faith Ette take silver in the shot put and Ariel Ford, third in the 400m.
Legacy and Summit had standouts as well, with Ja’leesa Giles finishing second in the 200m and Ivy Walker taking third in the 100m hurdles.
“Since I started working here in 1992, it’s been amazing to see what the kids can do on the golf course, the softball field and several other fields of athletics,” Lusinger said.
It may now be considered a compliment in Mansfield to be told, “you throw like a girl.” Or kick, dribble, swing, swim, run ...