In most athletic endeavors, there is no substitute for speed.
O’Fallon Township High School senior Tamya Houston, this week’s top athlete, has speed to burn. As an underclassman, Houston made her mark as one of the Panthers’ premier sprinters, and now at the start of her final high school track season, she appears ready to shatter her own personal-best records in an attempt to once again qualify for the IHSA state finals.
Competing for the first time last weekend in the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Indoor Invitational, the OTHS speedster, the daughter of Tomarra and Daryl Isaac, bested her own top times in both the 60- and 200-meter races. The results were a second-place finish in the 200 and third place in the 60. She also joined forces with three other Panther sprinters to collect a second-place medal in the 4 x 200 — no small feat in a field of thinclads from school districts in Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.
“Tamya has already established herself as one of our top sprinters, and we are looking for her to have a great season in the individual sprints as well as a part of our 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relay teams,” said O’Fallon head coach Neil James. “She is a focused athlete who is always well prepared for her races and has the physical tools to be a dominant force in the area in her specialties.”
“I run track because it was always something I loved to do as a child,” Houston said. “I started running track in middle school because my P.E. teacher at the time told me I should. Hard work, patience and good coaching have helped me get to the level that I am today.”
“Competing in track has made me focus on my grades and helped give me patience to see things through,” added the talented OTHS sprinter. “Without track, I would probably also be very unhealthy. Sports, in general, has made me a happier person, ready to accept challenges and see them through to a positive result.”