Bartlett reflects on successful run both in the classroom and in the shot put

Kylee Bartlett wrapped up her final track and field season last week at regionals but she’s ready for the next phase of her life.

The Odessa High senior who also attends Odessa Collegiate Academy finished her high school athletic career with a personal best mark in the shot put, throwing 40-feet and 1.75 inches last Friday in Arlington.

But despite coming up short of qualifying for the state meet in Austin, Bartlett has proven herself as a successful student athlete, maintaining a 3.6 GPA and will graduate from Odessa College with her associates degree and also her high school diploma before her 18th birthday.

“I think over my four years in high school, I have balanced my grades and being a straight-A student very well,” Bartlett said. “Throughout the years, it has become easier because I learned new routines and good time management.”

She’s still unsure of her college destination, saying she has narrowed her choices down to Texas Tech or University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Bartlett is also unsure of her major.

OCA is an advanced college curriculum and to be able to make those courses alongside her high school courses has been a challenge in itself.

“The one challenge was missing my classmates because in the college courses, you only get instructions two times a week so if you miss one day, you have to get caught up for basically half a week of class and you have to talk to your peers and get all of the information and be ready to study and get the tests and the exams done by the end of the week on Sundays,” Bartlett said. “Being out of school two days a week, being at practices and working around my schedule with my school is very hard.”

Still, over the past four years, she’s had to find a way to balance athletics and class work, a feat easier said than done.

This year, she was the only female athlete from OHS to advance to the regional meet.

It was also her second consecutive year of qualifying for the regional championships.

Her mark of 40-1.75 placed her sixth overall as Bartlett said it was a bittersweet ending to her track and field career.

“After I hit a new PR, it made me want to throw more and get further, but sadly, it was over,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett also competed in the discus, advancing to the area track and field championships which were held in Odessa a few weeks ago. She finished sixth at that meet in the discuss with a throw of 100-10.

In the shot put, she finished second overall with a mark of 38-10.50 at the area meet.

Bartlett has also done team sports during her high school year, doing basketball and softball.

“I personally liked track and field more because I could be harder on myself since it’s an independent thing,” Bartlett said. “You set your own goals. But doing track and basketball were still fun. The different athletes on both sides and see how different a meet is than a basketball game is pretty cool.”

She’s been thankful for her teammates and coaches.

“I like that I have a good coaches who helped me and wanted me to get better and do my best,” Bartlett said. “Also, the team was really fun to be around. Everyone wanted to be better. There was so much positive energy.”

Bartlett says her biggest supporters have also been her family members including her mom Dana Bartlett and her younger sister Alyssa Bartlett.

“I would say my biggest supporters who have always helped me in everything I do would be my aunt and my mom,” Bartlett said. “In school and everything I do, they have helped me. This track season, I had my little sister with me and she’s always been there for me, cheering me on.”

As Bartlett prepares for graduation and reflects on her accomplishments, she knows there’s no limit to what she can achieve.

“For me, it shows that if I can manage like everything I do now, then I can do anything,” Bartlett said. “I’ve played high school sports my whole life so it makes me know that I’m capable of more than I think I am.”