Holy Trinity track team wants another relay title


Holy Trinity junior Giana Gayles has the top 100-meter hurdle time in the state in Class 1A (14.72 seconds) this season and is closing in on the school record. | PHOTO BY CARL KOTALADuring the past four years, the Holy Trinity girls 400 meter relay team hasn’t just been successful at the state meet.

The Tigers have owned the event.

So when head coach Marcus Bailey talks about his team’s potential for this season, it isn’t long before the conversation turns to the girls 400 relay.

“I don’t know how many times it’s occurred, but we’ve won four straight 4x100 state titles,” Bailey said. “That’s the race that scares me the most because of the potential for miscues because of the baton and the speed, but we should win
it again.

“That’s our expectation going in, that we’ll be able to put together a group on the track that can win it.”

The Tigers return three quarters of last year’s championship relay team.

Sprinter Alisha Pound is back, but has been dealing with an injury for much of the season. Taya Britten is a superb triple jumper and will also be doing some hurdles for the Tigers in addition to the relay.

Then there is Giana Gayles, who not only runs the 400 relay anchor, but also owns the fastest 100-meter hurdle time in Class 1A at a personal-best 14.72 seconds.

After injuries caused her to miss two months last season, and two years of competition prior to that, Gayles is ready to take a run at the school record of 14.66.

“I want to get lower 14s, preferably a 14.4 by the end of the season,” Gayles said.

Lizzie Bacon will take over for the graduated McKenzie Kilborne and is also a 300-meter hurdler.

Should Pound’s injury prevent her from competing, her likely replacement would be Lauren Gayles.

Though they had yet to put their “A” team together early in the season, the Tigers still had the top time in Class 1A, so the drive for five is still very much alive.

As for the rest of the Tigers’ track season, it has gone just as Bailey expected.

“We have a good core of girls that are back from a third-place team [at state] last year, so that team is still relatively strong,” Bailey said. “Our boys’ side is down. We don’t have the numbers we’ve normally had in the past.”

Still, the boys team does have a couple of standout newcomers in senior long jumper Jalen Brown, who has gone 20-8, and freshman Seth Coleman, a standout in the 400 and the 300 hurdles.

“They’re good additions to the program,” Bailey said.

Other outstanding girls are distance runners Sydney Smith (1,600, 3,200 relay), Shelby (800, 3,200 relay) and Samantha Folio (1,600, 3,200 relay).

The girls expect to have another strong showing at the state meet.

“I project us to be the top three,” Bailey said.