It’s the season for signings.
On Wednesday afternoon, seven Permian High School student athletes signed their letters of intent in front of a large gathering at the school library.
Track standouts Calyha Brown (Prairie View A&M) and Taylor Vulevas (New Mexico Junior College) along with cross country runner Jazmin Oakley (Odessa College), volleyball player Tristiana Abila (Odessa College), softball player Kameron Martinez (Midland College) and cheerleaders Jericho Florez (UTPB) and Brinlee Dunn (TCU) all signed on to the next level.
Brown, a four-year letterman in track, left her mark on the program. She finished fourth in the discus at the 2018 Class 6A state track meet with a mark of 139 feet, 9 inches.
Not only was Brown competitive in her events, shattering records in the shot put at the West Texas Relays and San Angelo Relays, but she was a true leader and inspiration to her teammates.
Brown will graduate ranked ninth in her class with a 4.0 GPA. She plans on majoring in psychology.
“All I can say is I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do,” Brown said. “As long as I’m doing what I love and continuing to follow my dreams, I’ll always be perfect.
“I’ve grown up being a Panther, wanting to be a Panther and being able to carry that in my legacy means the world to me. Being a Panther means everything.”
Brown’s partner in crime, Vuelvas, was a district and area champion in the discus. Vuelvas finished fourth in the discus at the Class 6A Region I meet with a throw of 134-06.
She helped contribute greatly to the success of the track program. The Lady Panthers went undefeated winning the District 2-6A and Area 6A District 1/2 titles.
Vuelvas and Brown also competed in powerlifting together. The dynamic duo left their mark on the Permian track program in more ways than one. Vuelvas will stay close to home and attend New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs.
“It’s honestly a blessing. A lot of athletes don’t get this opportunity, and I actually got this opportunity,” Vuelvas said. “I’m proud of what I left here. I’m proud of what I taught these girls.
“I’m blessed that these girls had my back. These girls were always there for me and I’m glad I set an example for them. It’s a blessing.”
Oakley, who is staying home to attend to Odessa College, was not only a strong cross country runner leading Permian to a second-place finish at the District 2-6A championship in 2017, but she was also a versatile track athlete, competing in the 100, 400, pole vault and 400-meter relay.
Abila, a middle blocker, had to overcome a lot of hardship after she injured her ACL her junior year. She’s ecstatic about getting the opportunity to stay at home and compete with a competitive program like Odessa College.
“It’s exciting. It’s really great. I’m still a little bit shocked,” Abila said. “At first, I wasn’t really planning on playing, but it kind of hit me all of a sudden. I missed it. I want to play at the next level.”
Fresh off a historic softball season, Martinez will get an opportunity to play at Midland College alongside teammate Brianna Dominguez next school year.
Martinez helped guide the Lady Panthers to a 33-6 record. Permian landed in the fourth round for the first time in program history after defeating Abilene High in three games in the regional quarterfinals.
“Very exciting — I’ve wanted this since I was a little girl,” Martinez said. “I couldn’t have done it here without my teammates, my family, my coaches and most importantly God.
“It doesn’t come to an end. There’s more to work on, more opportunity. Hopefully, after two years we can keep going.”
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