Corrie Thomas, Flowery Branch: Scored five goals in a win against Salem on Friday; recorded one goal in a win against Forsyth Central last Tuesday.
Kimy McNeil, Flowery Branch: Notched two goals and an assist on Friday.
Hannah Hester, Johnson: Tallied two goals in a win against Walnut Grove on Friday.
Sadie Foote, Chestatee: Scored two gials against Stephens County last Tuesday.
Merrie Barnett, Chestatee: Scored two goals in a win against Stephens County last Tuesday.
Madeline Harr, Gainesville: Carded an 84 and defeated two teammates on a playoff hole to win low-medallist at the Hall County Championships.
Calm, confident and collected are three characteristics that can be used to describe North Hall track and field athlete Trini Puente.
Those three characteristics also helped the sophomore win three gold medals and a silver at the Hall County championships on Friday — a performance that played a significant part in the Lady Trojans’ team championship.
Puente is a prime example of the motto that coach Drew Rogers repeats to his team: “Try to get better every day, even if you’re the top or if you’re the No. 8.”
It’s the “little things” that make a runner better, according to Rogers, and those small changes made Puente the best at the meet.
“There were a lot of good people running which pushed me to try harder and be better,” Puente said. “I love winning; it makes you feel good.”
For her efforts, Puente is The Times Girls Athlete of the Week.
“She’s been running that well all year,” Rogers said. “She jumped better this weekend even though we haven’t had a lot of time to practice.”
Although winning county championships is certainly a mark to be proud of, Puente is focused on even bigger achievements. Namely, the Lady Trojans’ record books.
“She’s trying to set the school record in the 200 meter, trying to jump 17 feet in the long jump and getting close to that, and trying to re-set the 4x100 meter record,” Rogers said.
Puente is within 1/10th of a second of the 4x100 record, and once she reaches that, her sights turn to spring.
“She wants to go back to state,” Rogers said. “She’s humble. She doesn’t act like a superstar even though she’s one of our best athletes.”
Her attitude, confidence and skill are contagious for the whole team. It keeps the Lady Trojans focused and ready for every race, whether they are favorites or not.
“We knew we had a chance to win, but we didn’t expect to win (Hall County Championships),” Rogers said. “Other teams came in looking really good, but I can’t think of a girl we had who had a bad race on Saturday.
“Everybody had a good day; every single person scored a point.”
The Lady Trojans consistency, like Puente’s, is something that makes the team a threat in every race, especially later in the season when teams are preparing to run for state.
“It’s good for her, and it’s good for the whole team,” Rogers said. “It gives everybody confidence going into the end of the year. All that really matters is the last couple races of the year like the region championship.”
Until then, Puente and her team will focus on small adjustments that are proven to help her perform better in races, just like she did on Saturday.
“It’s the little things that make you better,” Rogers said. “She went over there and got warmed up, and got her marks down. It’s just a matter of getting those steps down.”
Once Puente has her marks, it takes the guesswork out of jumping for her, which helps her perform at a high level every time.
“Changing your jump even a little bit can throw everything off,” Puente said. “If you mess up on the run at all it can be a scratch, and then it doesn’t matter how far you jump, so it’s important to make the same steps.”