El Dorado News-Times
Leadership is no Gray area for Lady Wildcat
As a junior, El Dorado’s Addrienna Gray was a contributor in the Lady Wildcats’ first-ever track and field state championship. As a senior, she wants to do more.
Gray won both the 100 hurdles (16.86) and the 300 hurdles (51.22) in last week’s Oil Belt Relays. She was also a member of the team’s first place 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
“She came up to me in November and she said, ‘Coach, I just want to do more for this team than just be a hurdler,’” said El Dorado coach John Koonce. “I impressed on her, I said, ‘Look, I want you to be as good as you can possibly be in the hurdles. But you’re a good sprinter. You’ve gotten faster and I think you can factor in (the relays).’ And she did. The 4x100 was excellent. Her 4x400 was very good, too.”
Gray finished fourth in the 300 hurdles and seventh in the 100 hurdles in last year’s 5A State Track & Field Championships. She’s looking forward to the bigger workload this season.
“I just wanted to contribute more to the team,” said Gray. “I felt like last year we had great leaders like Bryonna Steward and Jordan. I just wanted to be more like them and be a great leader so I can lead my team to another state championship this year.”
The sport of track and field is different because it has individual events that add up to a team total. Gray said for her the team trophy is the most important.
“The team aspect is more important to me. I believe, at the end of the day if everybody puts in, it’ll help better than just me focusing on myself. If
I focus on myself, then how do I know if somebody needs help? How do I know if somebody can’t help me to get better?”
Last Thursday’s meet at Memorial Stadium was the first of the season for El Dorado due to weather cancellations. The conditions were brisk and not ideal for fast times.
“I feel like I did good but I do have a ways to go to reach my goal. My number one goal, right now, is to get 14 seconds or lower in the 100 meter hurdles and get 46 seconds in the 300 hurdles,” she said.
“I was nervous about the
people watching and I didn't know about the competition. My coach told me, don't worry about them. Just worry about yourself. At the end of the day, you're just racing against yourself.”
Gray has aspirations of running track in college. She believes she has the mentality for hurdling at the next level.
“In hurdling, you have to have a strategy and I love thinking. So that comes second hand to me because I can think while I run, which calms me down,” she said. “Most people think they're going to fall. That's what scares them. But you're not supposed to think you're going to fall or you're going to fall. I mostly think about how I'm going to get there and what can I do to improve. How can I get three-stepping down? My trail leg, how can I get that down? I just try to master my craft.”