ATLANTA, Texas — Atlanta's varsity girls track team may not get a chance to defend its state title.
The Lady Rabbs won the UIL Class 3A track and field state championship last year at Michael Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas. Atlanta's junior class was a main catalyst that propelled Atlanta to the title.
Many senior standouts were ready to lead the Lady Rabbs back for a chance to defend the championship, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made the opportunity bleak.
"This was going to be the year that we were going to be very successful," Atlanta head track coach Quinn Carter said. "I apologized to my seniors. They won't be able to have a track season. They would have been the ones to lead us back to state. It's especially hard on the ones who are going to miss their last year. They knew what all it would take to get back to state and have worked so hard. It's difficult to deal with. They were looking forward to going back."
Senior Dani Arredondo was set to run the first leg on the 4x100 and the 4x400, as well as the 400 meters.
"Dani is a great leader," Carter said. "She always goes hard no matter what."
Keyona Easter was another senior leader. Easter participated in four events. She ran the second leg on the 4x100, first leg on the 4x200, ran the 100 meters and competed in the high jump.
"Keyona is a natural athlete," Carter said. "She is going to do well anywhere a coach puts her and is well-rounded. Keyona is a great leader."
India Cooper is a senior who specializes in the 300 hurdles. Cooper also runs in the 4x200 and the 4x400.
"India had a good shot at winning state in the 300 hurdles," Carter said. "I feel heartbroken about this season. We had a great chance to go back to state and compete."
Kitty McCauley ran the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. McCauley joins Arredondo, Easter and Cooper in the Lady Rabbs' senior group.
"Kitty is an athlete that does whatever I ask her to do," Carter said. "She doesn't complain and gives it her all."
Jennifer Easter helped Atlanta win the title last season. She ran the 4x100, the 4x200, 200 meters and competed in the triple jump. Tiana Lawson ran the 4x100, 4x200, 200 meters and the high jump. Rounding out the standouts was freshman Keri Fomby who was slated to run the 2400 meters, the 800 meters and the mile.