HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD: Odessa High’s Rylea Bolton prepares for title shot at District 2-6A meet

Rylea Bolton threw multiple discs during Monday’s practice for the Odessa High girls track and field team.

Yet, the senior for the Lady Bronchos said there’s one disc that she’ll always trust.

Its name is “Black Beauty.”

That was the disc she used during the West Texas Relays for what would remain the top toss in District 2-6A for the regular season. Bolton sits in that No. 1 spot at 128-feet, 3-inches.

“My black disc has been my baby,” Bolton said with a smile. “That’s the one I love to throw.”

Bolton will look to recreate and improve on that throw at the District 2-6A meet beginning today in San Angelo. The senior will compete in discus at 1:30 p.m. and shot put at 3:30 p.m.

As far as nerves, Bolton is excited to begin the three-step trek for a spot in the state track and field meet. Bolton finished 12th in discus at the Region I-6A meet a year ago.

“When it comes to the serious meets, I feel more confident and more excited,” Bolton said. “The meets before I kind of look at them as practice. This one is where it really counts. It’s either a make-it or break-it situation.”

One thrower for Odessa High that isn’t fazed by positive or negative results is 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior Bailey Perez.

In fact, Perez believes off days shed more light into what he needs to improve on. Perez, who signed to play football at Sul Ross State in the fall, holds the second-best discus throw in the district at 149-3.5.

“You are guaranteed bad days, but it’s how you overcome them and how to turn them into your positive days,” Perez said. “The worst days are probably the best days, because that’s when you learn the most.”

Odessa High boys track and field coach Randy Thompson believes the team has to score points in a variety of ways. The Bronchos have a combination of 11 individuals or relay teams ranked in the top eight.

However, Thompson is looking for everyone to better their time, distance or height.

“We have improved each week and we are hoping this week everything is clicking for us and we show improvements in every aspect,” Thompson said. “We want to show improvements across the board and let the cards lay where they may after it’s all over with. If they run their best, good things are going to happen.”

Odessa High girls track and field coach Tracey Borchardt said the team has had its up and down moments, but she sees the potential during practice. The Lady Bronchos have six seniors on their roster, while of majority of the top times, distances and heights are held by underclassmen.

Relaya Hernandez, who is a sophomore, holds the best time in 400 (58.81) and is third in the 100 (12.71). Freshmen Maylie Brito and Marexyi Luna are strong in the middle to long distances. Brito is second in the 1,600 (5:33.36) and fifth in the 800 (2:28.84), while Luna sits fourth in the 3,200 (12:38.91).

“I have a few kids that should stand out and do something and hopefully the rest of the kids will kind of follow suit,” Borchardt said. “I have a couple strong kids, but the rest are going to have to step up and rise to the occasion.”

The top four in event for the boys and girls will secure a spot in the area championships at Tiger Stadium in Wolfforth.

Perez believes if he competes at a high level, he will have the opportunity to represent Odessa High in the next step on the trek to the state track and field meet.

“If it’s the best of the best down to compete, that’s what I hope for,” he said. “If I’m competing with the best, I’m going to do my best.”

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