Last year, we saw it with Bailey Lear and Whitney Williams. Two elite athletes who were state and national level athletes required to sit out a varsity season. Lear missed her entire junior varsity season as she had to run JV due to transferring and Williams missed her sophomore year to injury.
Both girls had an outstanding 2018 comeback seasons with Lear finishing as the 2018 UIL 5A 400m champ (52.73) and 2nd in the 200m (23.74).
Williams won the 2016 UIL 5A 400m (53.68) and the USATF Junior Olympic titles as a freshman. She returned from surgery to repair an ACL and meniscus to take second in the UIL 5A 400m (55.33) and the AAU Junior Olympic 400m (54.71).
Last weekend, three more young ladies who missed the last track and field varsity season made some big comebacks statements.
Rosaline Effiong Returns From An ACL Injury
DeSoto senior Rosaline Effiong missed her entire junior year because of an ACL injury. Effiong had plans of capitalizing on a 2017 track and field season that saw her sophomore campaign finish in a UIL 6A 200m runner-up (23.66) and a couple of state meet relay medal finishes. Her performances that year helped her DeSoto Eagles earn their 2nd straight UIL 6A state team title.
Things would not go as planned in 2018 as knee surgery kept her out for the entire season. Effiong would not run a single track meet during the indoor or outdoor seasons.
As a sophomore, Rosaline Effiong (2494) finished second in the 200m at the 2017 UIL 6A state meet
Effiong was able to shake off the dust and nerves to perform well. In the prelims, she ran a 57.39 for the 8th fastest time out of 245 competitors. She returned to the track about an hour later to drop a 24.42 in the 200m for the 5th fastest time of the prelims.
"It was hard, I forgot everything, I'm just trying to get back up there,"
Rosaline Effiong, DeSoto/NTC Elite senior
In the finals, she elected to forgo the 400m finals to concentrate on the 200m. That resulted in a third place overall finish and a 24.40 PR. "I'm just trying to get back up there," Effiong said.
This weekend was a good start considering just over a year ago, she had surgery on her ACL and was informed she wouldn't compete the upcoming season.
Brynn King Also Returns From An ACL Injury
King is a 2016 TAPPS state champion in the long jump, but she also finished fourth in the 200m. Her versatility led to her coaches to persuade her into trying the pole vault. Her strength and flexibility from gymnastics combined with her speed and explosiveness from her sprinting and jumping talents are prime pole vaulter qualities.
Last year, this time, King began to pole vaulting for the first time in her life. That led to back to back second place finishes in her fresh and new event at the 2018 Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic (11-7.25) and the 2018 Carl Lewis Invitational (11-0).
However, not too long after her second indoor meet, King would also tear her ACL, which ended her 2018 season and prohibited her from competing her junior track and field season.
However, King is now back and feeling good! "I feel really good, I'm a lot more consistent I felt a lot more confident, she said. I'm starting to get back into it. I'm not quite as nervous, just feeling more at home."
In an event that is still new to her, King has began this season with another great start and one better than where she left off prior to her injury as she won the Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic with a new 12-5.25 PR.
Jayla Hollis Serves One Year JV Stint And Now Returns To Varsity
Hollis ended her freshman season in a good fashion as she on the awards stand at the 2017 UIL 5A state meet. Hollis' third place finish in the 200m (23.86) is a difficult task for a lot to expect from a freshman, but she wasn't afraid of the big stage and came through in the clutch.
After the state meet, a tough decision was ahead of Hollis. With the goal to one day be a physician, she transferred to DeSoto from Lancaster after being accepted into the International Baccalaureate Program at DeSoto.
Although the move was for academic reasons, the transfer did not meet UIL Eligibility Standards and she had to run JV instead of being allowed to run on the varsity level last season.
Over the weekend, at A&M, Hollis showed that last year is in the past and things will be different this season now that she is back. She established herself as a possible athlete to deal with as she ran 23.96 in the 200m prelims.
The following day, she returned to run 23.91 in the 200m finals for the win as well as 8.62 in the 60 hurdles and she earned her second victory of the meet. After just one meet back being eligible to run varsity this year, she currently ranks #2 nationally in the 200m and #4 in 60 hurdles.
These three young ladies endured a tough and daunting 2018, but the calendar has officially turned. Now that it's a new year, these ladies look to be on a good road to getting back to where they left off.