Lady Cats Stand-Out Freshman Track Star Chasing State Dreams


SAN ANGELO, TX — The postseason for High School Track & Field is in full swing, and several members of the San Angelo Central High School Bobcats and Lady Cats track teams performed well enough at the Area track meet last weekend to qualify for Regionals. One of those qualifiers is Lady Cats Freshman Sydney Crooks.

While it is impressive for any athlete to qualify for the Regional meet, Crooks qualified in two out of her three events last weekend, the High Jump and Long Jump (she also competes in the Triple Jump). She and the rest of her team will head to Arlington on Thursday, April 18, to compete in the 6A Region I Track Meet at Maverick Stadium at UT Arlington beginning on Friday.

Central also sends the Bobcats 4x100-meter relay team and Lady Cats 4x100-meter relay team and 4x200-meter relay team along with Jace Jackson in the 100-meter dash to Regionals in 2024.

It is uncommon for a freshman to qualify for a high-level varsity meet at 15 years old. This usually means the athlete is pretty special. Sydney expressed her thoughts on Regionals in an interview earlier this week.

“So, my nerves are definitely up,” Crooks said. “Just the adrenaline going into the events itself. It’s just a whole new scenery, from volleyball on a court to competing outside. It’s a totally different environment, but I’m all in for it.”

For those not in the know, Crooks also made Central’s Varsity Volleyball team as a Freshman last fall. At 14 years old at the time, she was one of the youngest 6A varsity volleyball players in the state.

Sydney will compete in two events at Regionals. She qualified in the High Jump and the Long Jump and now has her sights set even higher, State.

Central Lady Cats Sydney Crooks

Central Lady Cats Sydney Crooks

(San Angelo LIVE! Photo)

“So this week, I really practiced on one of the events that I’m confident I can have a chance to go to state in. High Jump,” Crooks said later. “I’m going to hit this Regional Track meet super hard and then see if I advance. If I do, it will then be more work and I’m here for all of it.”

Crooks has had one of the most successful Freshman campaigns in Lady Cat history this year. She holds the freshman record for the High Jump and the Long Jump and 2nd place for the Freshman Triple Jump. As far as overall track records go for Central High School, she has some work to do, but she is already biting at the heels of the record books on varsity.

“I think I am fourth right now at the all-time Central record,” Crooks said.

When asked if she wanted to shatter those records by the time she graduated, she was confident in her reply.

“Yes, I’m pretty sure I can do it,” she said.

Central Lady Cats Sydney Crooks in the High Jump at San Angelo Relays 2024

Central Lady Cats Sydney Crooks in the High Jump at San Angelo Relays 2024

(San Angelo LIVE! Photo/Ryan Chadwick)

Sydney began her Track & Field career in middle school, where she attended Lincoln Middle School on the Northside.

“So I ran track (at Lincoln) my seventh-grade year, and I ran everything,” Crooks said. “I ran the 100m Hurdles, the 300m Hurdles, and 100m Dash, triple jump, and high jump. The love started there. I took a break in eighth grade to prepare myself for volleyball in high school, but once I hit high school, I went all in for all sports. So yeah, the love started in 7th grade.”

The up-and-coming Lady Cats star has big aspirations for the future. She hopes to continue to improve in volleyball and track to the point where universities around the country notice.

“Volleyball is my number one dream I would say,” Crooks said of her future ambitions. “But I would love to be a dual athlete in college.”

Central Lady Cats Sydney Crooks

Central Lady Cats Sydney Crooks

(San Angelo LIVE! Photo/Ryan Chadwick)

Like many in San Angelo, she has a good eye for where she wants to attend school in the future.

“Texas Tech has a very successful track and field program,” she said, describing where she would like to run track in the future. “That would be amazing.”

If Division I schools notice her in volleyball, Crooks said that her dream would be to play for the premiere powerhouses in college volleyball like Texas or Nebraska.

Crooks has a bright future at Central, but all the ‘Cats and Lady Cats who qualified for the Regional Meet need everyone's support this weekend. I wish them the best as they try to qualify for state in Austin in a few weeks.

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