Redhawks race to Austin

Track duo testing their mettle at Texas Relays

Junior Carrie Fish and sophomore Nissi Kobongo are heading to UT Austin to compete in the Texas Relays.

Provided by Carrie Fish

Junior Carrie Fish and sophomore Nissi Kobongo are heading to UT Austin to compete in the Texas Relays.

This weekend, track girls Carrie Fish and Nissi Kabongo head to Austin for the annual Texas Relays meet.

“In order to make state, once we get to district they have to qualify for area, regionals and then qualify for state, so it’s a long road to get there,” head girls track coach Amanda Byers said. “This doesn’t technically have anything to do with state other than some of the best athletes will be there in preparation for seeing them at state.”

Kabongo and Fish use this as a learning experience in preparation for upcoming meets.

“Since it’s at the same place it’s at UT Austin, I think having the meet here and being around the same atmosphere will prepare me mentally and physically for state because I’ll have the same level of competition and intensity,” sophomore Nissi Kabongo said.

Both girls are ready to compete, and aren’t letting the competition get to them.

I am most excited to be able to compete against the best competition in the state and running on the UT track,” sophomore Carrie Fish said. “I have prepared for this meet like any other race.”

Even though it is counted as a regular meet, only the best of the best are eligible to go.

“In Frisco, in order to go to this meet you have to qualify for state the year before,” Byers said. “So it means a lot that we have kids at that level and that have worked so hard with Nissi and Carrie they work year round through the summer, through the fall and the spring. So it means a lot for them to get this honor and be able to travel down there and compete with all these kids.”

At a college campus, meets, especially for high schoolers, can be frightening.

“Not really stressful but more intimidating because you’re surrounded by college students and coaches,” Kabongo said. “There’s just a lot of pressure in the way they prepare everything and the way they have the standards going into the races are much higher than normal.”

Competing in the high jump, Kabongo has been training all season.

“Ever since the beginning of season obviously I’ve been working towards big meets like this coming up,” Kabongo said. “I’ve basically been working really hard at practice and preparing myself mentally to go against some of the fastest girls in the state and maybe even in the nation.”

Keeping a level head, despite the competitiveness of the meet, coach Amanda Byers views the Texas Relays as any other.
“We have been preparing just like every other meet,” Byers said. “Nissi and Carrie have both been competing at an elite level throughout season. Just getting to go and run and jump with the best is always exciting to make you step up your game a little bit.”