SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The C.E. Byrd High School track team has had one motto all season: ‘Embrace the grind.’
Now more than a motto, that central thought has motivated this team to achieve record breaking numbers and a successful season. They are gearing up to compete in the LHSAA state outdoor track meet this weekend, May 4-5.
The Boys’ 4-x-400 meter relay team is now ranked second in the state, after their performance last week in the Region 1-5A Championship. They simultaneously broke their school record for the event, with an impressive finish at 3:18.68.
Relay team member, two-time state champion, and co-captain senior, LaDann Thomas, credits their success to the love of the sport.
“I love the sport. I know the guys who run with me love it too. It’s something to do. It’s something we really do enjoy.”
The team also boasts the state’s top two seeds for the 1600-meter event, with senior co-captain Allen England and freshman Trent Wells.
“I’m feeling good, feeling great. The team has worked hard, we’re ready to show it," said England, as the number one seed looks ahead to his last high school track competition.
Both senior co-captains will continue their running careers in college. Thomas signed to McNeese State University and England signed to Mississippi College.
When asked how he plans to motivate his team ahead of the state meet, Coach Juan Plaza brought it back to their team motto. “Sometimes we have those days where we don’t want to be out here, but you always remind them. Remember the goal you had? Well, you have to embrace the grind,” he said.
As the yellow jackets head to Baton Rouge this Friday, May 3, Plaza had these words for his team.
“I told them, leave it on the track and anything can happen at the state meet. You never know.”