With only 15 girls from across the state being selected, the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s (TGCA’s) Track and Field All-Star Team is a very select group. That’s 15 girls from all the 4A and 5A schools in the Lone Star State. Of this year’s honorees only one is from the Rio Grande Valley – Veterans Memorial High School’s Alexandria Gonzalez.
Having been nominated by the Lady Patriots head track coach Kathy Howell, Gonzalez met all the criteria established by TGCA. Criteria included being a high school senior, excelling as a track and field athlete and excelling academically. All-Stars were then selected in two divisions: 1A-2A-3A and 4A-5A.
Gonzalez is the only member of the VMHS track and field team that Howell has ever nominated for the honor, as she is the first that has met all the criteria.
“It’s a big honor because you have to meet all the criteria and they don’t select very many,” explained Howell. “Alexandria has been exceptional for the past four years and she’s ranked No. 3 in her class so I knew she would qualify. Then it was just a matter of her going through the selection process.”
Even though she knew that Gonzalez had a good chance of being selected, Howell decided not to let her know she had nominated her. So, it was a huge surprise when her coach gave her the news.
“I just found out about this a couple of days ago. I had no idea that Coach Howell had even nominated me,” shared Gonzalez. “It’s a huge honor for me and I’d like to thank my coaches for the nomination. I could never have done it without them or without my team because they’ve pushed me really hard.”
“I especially want to thank Coach Howell,” added Gonzalez. “She is such a strong woman and she has always set her girls off on the right path. She is somebody that we can go to and confide in with anything because we know that we can trust her. She’s just a really great role model for us.”
Athletically, Gonzalez has been a big part of the Lady Patriots’ track and field success over the past four years.
“All four years I did all three relay races, which are the 4 x 100, the 4 x 200 and the 4 x 400 relays, as well as the long jump and the triple jump,” said Gonzalez. “My junior and senior years we won the district championships and I have a district and a school record in the 4 x 100 relay and a school record in the 4 x 400 relay.”
As a member of the TGCA All-Star Team, Gonzalez will be representing VMHS at the TGCA Track and Field Clinic in Arlington where she will be used in demonstrations for the coaches that will be attending. Also, she and the other girls selected as All-Stars, will be recognized at halftime of the TGCA All-Star Basketball Game.
Academically, Gonzalez is ranked third in her graduating class and she is planning to attend the University of Texas-Austin in the fall. Eventually, she hopes to attend medical school.