It is general knowledge that in order to earn a college scholarship in track and field, it takes a lot of individual work and even more dedication to the craft.
Those were traits of two Guyer athletes who signed national letters of intent Wednesday to run at the collegiate level in the Southeastern Conference, known traditionally as the top conference in the country for track and field.
Devin Horton, who went to the state cross country meet all four years of her career and finished all-state as a junior and senior, signed to run cross country and long-distance track with Texas A&M.
Jalen Hunter, who quit football after his sophomore season to focus on track, saw that dedication pay off as he signed with Tennessee to run the 110-meter hurdles and the 400 hurdles.
“It’s really been my support system that’s gotten me here,” Hunter said. “My dad working with me every day. Coach [Oschlor] Flemming always pushing me and setting me up with people who will push me was huge. He always had me running with that first group even when I was a freshman.”
Hunter chose the Volunteers over schools such as Arkansas, Oklahoma State, TCU and Mississippi State.
Horton has become the face of the Guyer cross country program and is easily the most decorated runner in program history. She chose the Aggies over offers from Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor.
“I’m really happy to be going to A&M,” Horton said. “I love running and I’m excited I get to do it in college. It just felt right. That’s where I wanted to go.”
Thompson blazes own trail to Texas
Like most younger brothers, Resse Thompson has followed in the footsteps of his older brother. The elder Thompson, Kyle, is a pole vaulter at Texas Tech.
But Reese strayed from following his brother to Lubbock. Thompson signed a letter of intent Wednesday, and he will participate in the decathalon at Texas.
“It’s so much weight lifted off my shoulders,” Thompson said. “Everything I worked for from freshman year just built up. Following my brother’s footsteps, I wanted to make a name for myself, so that’s why I wanted to go to Texas. I’m so happy and so blessed that I have this opportunity.”
Thompson also was a defensive back on the Argyle football team that won the Class 3A Division II state championship. But Thompson won’t be playing football in college.
Instead, he’ll be pursuing his passion of track and field and will try to surpass what his older brother has accomplished.
“I want to have bragging rights when we get older and talk about it when we’re 15, 20 years down the line,” Thompson said.
Perry inks with Texas A&M
Sanger track and cross country runner Jacob Perry signed a national letter of intent to Texas A&M. Perry finished 10th at the Class 3A state cross country meet in November while helping the Indians take sixth overall.
“What drew me was my family has always been a fan of A&M,” Perry said. “We’ve always been to the football and basketball games. I’ve always been a fan and I’ve always loved the track program. What I really liked was the coaching staff.”
Perry, who will be majoring in physics, said he’s looking forward to not being a big fish in a small pond anymore and that he thinks the competition at A&M will help tremendously.
“There are some talented guys on that team, and I truly believe I’ll get better training with those guys,” Perry said. “I’m really excited to be pushed every day in practice and hoping I’ll get better, something you don’t get at a small school. It’s a well-rounded school and I could see myself being there for the next four or five years.”