Aug. 5—Weatherford was well-represented last month when members of the Supersonic track team competed in the Summer Games of Texas July 21-24 in Corpus Christi.
Out of that, the Weatherford Supersonic track team had its 4x4 relay team and a long jumper qualify for nationals in 2024.
Leighton Rogers, who, at 8 years old, was one of the youngest athletes at the Games, out jumped everyone, nearly breaking the 10U long jump record of 14 feet, 4 inches.
"She had to jump with the 10U kids and she ended up jumping 13 feet, 8 inches," Supersonic Head Coach Richard Searcy said. "That was her best jump all year long, while being her first jump at the state meet. Since she medaled, she gets to go to the 2024 State Games of America over in San Diego."
The 4x4 relay team, of Colsen Ing, Austin Young, Carlito Richards, and Caleb Inmon, medaled and advance to San Diego in 2024 as well, finishing second out of 19 teams.
While the team came away with the silver, two members of the team also came away with top 10 finishes in other areas. Richards placed sixth in the long jump and Ing finished in the top 10 in the 800 and 400.
Having 25 kids qualify for the Summer games is quite the accomplishment for this group, Searcy said of the 25 kids making up 38 total qualifications, as several qualified in more than one event. And having several more advance to nationals makes it all the more special.
"To have both Leighton and the boys place, it makes us as coaches feel great," Searcy said. "It makes us feel accomplished. We worked those kids hard this summer and it paid off. So we are real proud of them."
Being a young team, the word has gotten around fast about Supersonic, and the numbers have risen exponentially over the three years that they have been in operation, which paved the way for them to have athletes medal at state for the first time. The team's inaugural year in 2019 saw 24 kids running, compared to 40 last year and 73 this year.
"With that many kids running, it puts our club out there and people are starting to notice our club," Searcy said. "Hopefully we can continue to build on our numbers every year, including getting over 100 kids next year. We just want to keep building and we want to be a staple in track and field out of Weatherford."
Even though they medaled in this year's state meet, the July 1 deadline for this year's national meet means whoever medaled this year in state is qualified for nationals in 2024. The same goes for the participants next year, meaning those athletes who qualify for nationals will make it to the 2024 games as well.
Receiving medals will help the athletes gain confidence towards future meets, Searcy said, particularly the youngsters.
"With [Leighton] winning the gold medal as one of the youngest kids in the event, that boosted her confidence up, not only for jumping, but I believe next year her confidence will be high for her running events as well since she is a really fast runner," he said. "It was just tough for her being the younger out of the age group."
The confidence of placing second and heading to nationals for the boys in the relay team comes at the perfect time as they are about to move up a level to 12U.
"That will just build them up to run against the older kids, and they will be able to, they are pretty fast," Searcy said.