O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon sprinter sets her eyes on state

Left to right, O’Fallon Panther Kersten Douglas; Granite City Andrea Hyde; and, Tamya Houston, Progress’ Athlete of the Week of May 5, 2016, run during the Southwestern Conference in Edwardsville.
Left to right, O’Fallon Panther Kersten Douglas; Granite City Andrea Hyde; and, Tamya Houston, Progress’ Athlete of the Week of May 5, 2016, run during the Southwestern Conference in Edwardsville. znizami@bnd.com

Tamya Houston does not rest on her accomplishments.

As the O’Fallon track star sees it, there is always room for improvement.

But don’t let that fool you.

The O’Fallon junior is already one of the top sprinters in the state.

Take last Thursday, for instance.

Houston set the St. Clair County Meet record in the 100-meter run with her eye popping 12.03 second finish.

But Houston was still not happy with her time. She says she could have done even better.

Go figure.

This is only Houston’s second full track high school track season. She started her track career only midway through her freshman year at O’Fallon Township High School.

Tamya is the daughter of Tomarra and Daryl Issac of O’Fallon.

She now hopes to follow both of her parents’ footsteps and run track at the University of Memphis, where both of her parents were a member of the Tigers track team. Her mom was a mid-distance runner while her dad, who she still can’t beat, competed in long distance events.

Houston prefers the shorter races, though.

“The 100-meter is so fast,” she said. “It’s such an adrenalin rush.”

In addition to the 100-meter dash, Houston also excels in the 4 x100 and 4 x 200 relays. She still occasionally competes in the 200 meter (which she qualified for state a year ago in ) and the 4 x 400 relay, occasionally.

But the 100-meter dash, which she just started to run last summer, is her favorite race.

“It’s faster and easier to run,” said Houston who didn’t begin competing in the race until last summer, while running in a national track meet in New Mexico and she later fractured her foot.

“I don’t believe I was overworking my foot,” she said. “But, I probably was. I knew something was wrong, but it’s track season. So I didn’t really think about it.”

She was able to get out of her “boot” days before the start of this track season.

Houston now runs with shin splints, which she sees as being no big deal.

“That’s normal,” she said.

She now set her eyes on running the 100 meter dash in under 12 seconds.

Houston also hopes her 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 team will be advance to state for a second consecutive year this spring.

She said she always has been a quick runner.

“So, I guess running comes naturally,” she said.

But, she also believes with hard work and practice, running comes easier.

Houston, however, was surprised by her record-setting race at the St. Clair County Relays, but she was surprised with her finish.

“But I didn’t think I finished that well,” she said. “And every time I finish the 100, I always think I’m not tired and I could have done better.”

Houston also runs the second leg in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays.

Last year both of these teams finished in second and third, respectively, at state.

“This year we want to win,” she said.

O’Fallon’s 4 x 100 relay came within .02 of a second from winning first place at state last spring.

“We were really excited and happy about our finish,” Houston said. “But last year both of our relay teams were made up of sophomores.

“Now that we are all juniors, we have to win those relays this year, or during our senior year,” she said and smiled.

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