By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS
Editor’s note: On the day of this article’s publishing, Madison Ramos took third place at UIL’s state track and field meet in 4A Girls’ high jump. William Camacho took third place in 4A Boys’ triple jump.
As you read this, Madison Ramos and Will Camacho have each completed all their jumps at the state track and field meet in Austin. The results are in the books and, as of this Friday afternoon, the traveling party of coaches and athletes are on their way back to Port Isabel.
The Press sought out these individuals this week to pick their brains and get their thoughts on this annual spring high school sporting event.
“She’s really excited and she’s going to be ready,” Port Isabel head girls’ track and field coach Julie Breedlove said Monday. “She’s in a really good place mentally and it’s going to be exciting.”
I asked Coach what she knows about the heights some of the other state qualifiers have reached in the high jump.
“One other state qualifier has cleared 5-06.00, then there’s a 5-05.00 and several 5-04.00’s.”
Familiarity, or the lack thereof, with the venue a meet is held can be a factor in how well a competitor does on that day. Ramos had never previously seen Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. But all season long Ramos has shown the ability to keep the nerves under control and maintain focus.
“Maddy showed a lot of mental toughness at regionals,” Breedlove said.
Will Camacho has also shown great adaptability in transitioning from one sport to the next during the course of the school year. He’s in football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and in the spring it’s track and field.
“He’s excited and he’s been working hard,” Port Isabel’s head boys’ track coach John Calvillo said this week. “He’s very athletic and he stays active and competitive throughout the year.”
Weight training has also been a factor for Camacho, especially with the legs.
“His jumping coach emphasizes the weight training. Whereas other jumpers sometimes peak before finals at a particular meet, Will gets stronger on his jumps as he goes on. The weight room helps a lot.”
That coach would be former Port Isabel Tarpon football and basketball player, Kyle DeMoss.
“To get on the podium (top three finishers) he’s going to have to get up around 45, 46 feet,” DeMoss said Tuesday. “He started the year at 42-09.00 and now he’s at 44-02.”
“The goal is to get on the podium and, at the end of the day he just wants to jump the best he’s done all year. And it’s an accomplishment to make it this far (state meet).”
There’s always room for improvement, and Will talked about certain aspects of the triple jump that need constant attention.
“You want your feet out in front and let the momentum carry the body forward, and don’t fall backwards.”
Neither Ramos nor Camacho has any new or old injuries or conditions that could affect their performances in their respective jumping events in Austin this week.
“I’ve been healthy all season,” Camacho said. “Basketball helps me stay in condition.”
The 2021 UIL Texas State High School Track and Field Meet got underway this Thursday, May 6, and continues through this Saturday. The girls’ high jump event was scheduled to start at 9:00 A.M. Thursday, and the boys’ triple jump competition was on for a 2:30 p.m. start that afternoon.
Coaches and athletes left the high school about 9:00 o’clock Wednesday morning, immediately following a send-off parade from Port Isabel to the high school. The group planned to view the remainder of the schedule of events on Thursday, and return to the high school Friday afternoon.