ON THE OVAL

Eisenhower primed for state run

Eisenhower primed for state run
The Eagles have state title on their minds. Via VYPE

Originally Appeared on VYPE

BEING CLOSE, just isn't good enough when it comes to the competitive world of Texas high school track and field.

Eisenhower girls' relay teams have been close the past two seasons, but self-inflicted wounds like dropped batons on exchanges have kept the Eagles from reaching the final track meet of the year in Austin.

Coach Ahmad Roper has watched this happen the past two years and is ready for the 2019 season to be the dawning of a new standard.

"This year, it's unfinished business," Roper said. "I told them, we have to take care of business. We get hyped up because we have one of the fastest times in the state, but we're not at the big dance."

In 2017, Eisenhower sent its 4X200-meter relay team to state, where it finished eighth overall with a time of 1:38.48. Last season, no relay teams made the trip to Austin, failing to get out of regionals.

"It was that lack of execution throughout the year that caught up to us when we really needed it," Roper said about last season.

The consistent message to his team during the offseason has been about consistency and discipline.

If his group buys into that message, he believes they will be able to make the run needed to get to state because they have the raw talent to get there. The core of the girls' track team includes Iyana Gray, Darnee Williams, Kiana Rollins, Jaiya Covington, Tytiania Morrison, Hannah Simmons, Chanelle Houston, Deshawn Petitt and DeJanee Washington.


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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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