(WSAV) – Vidalia’s final practice meant one last chance to run your fastest and jump your highest before the big stage.
“Your heart starts racing, maybe your hands sweat a little bit, you get a little nervous but you’re excited,” said Vidalia senior Myesha Hall.
Vidalia’s track and field athletes will get to feel that excitement firsthand at the state track and field meet; the last leg of a season that’s felt like the longest relay.
“A lot of athletes came in a little further behind the curve than we anticipate,” said head coach Mandy Godbee. “As coaches, we were sweating it a bit.”
After winning the boys state title in 2017 and the girls state title in 2018, Vidalia had one of its most promising seasons in school history taken away by the pandemic.
“We had the number one hurdler in both hurdles,” Godbee said. “We had incredible sprinters, we had incredible [4×100] runners, really good two-milers. Last year’s team was stacked and they all graduated.”
But the athletes that returned to Vidalia never stopped getting better on the track.
“After quarantine hit, I just kind of just decided to work harder even though no one was pushing me and I didn’t have any meets,” said junior Sarah Owen. “I feel like I’ve gotten better than what I’ve been last year.”
Led by sprinters like Michael Madison and multi-event stars like Owen, Vidalia has 25 combined individual entries.
The bonds between those entries go deeper than that of just teammates.
“All of them are my friends,” Madison said. “They’re like family to me. My brothers and sisters. I love all of them.”
After going from a young group of upstarts in March to one of the state’s best teams in May, Vidalia now just needs to cross the finish line.
“We’re going to do our best, go out loud and try to get the state ring,” Madison said.