For better than 30 years Andrew Blanks has poured his heart and soul into coaching high school track and field.
The results have been astounding.
Some of Blanks’ finest work has come at Houston’s Westbury High School.
“On the boys’ side, the hurdlers and the 800-meter runners have been to the state meet the most,” Blanks said. “The hurdlers are No. 1. We’ve had seven state champion, including two Olympians that finished among the top seven in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
“Those guys were also NCAA champions, Big 12 champions, SEC champions and they all were on relay teams as well,” Blanks said. “Seven of our 800-meter runners have made it to the state meet.”
Blanks is most pleased with the college graduation rate for both the boys and girls track and field student-athletes from Westbury High School.
“We have an 85-plus percent graduation rate with that group as a whole,” Blanks said. “Those that did not finish on time went back and finished.
“Those kids bought into the program. They bought into being creative and being good citizens while getting their education,” Blanks said.
Westbury standouts from the 2017 HISD District 18-6A meet included Yoel Yoel (800, 1600, 3200), Myles Stennis (300-meter hurdles) and the girls’ mile relay unit of Jasmine Simon, Lauryn Cash, Kortnee Green and Brianna Alexander.
Aaric Lyles (high jump), Devon Hackett (shot put, discus) and Michael Onyejekwe (shot put, discus) were solid in the field events.
“Both Yoel and Myles have already received college scholarships,” Blanks said. “They have stepped up big time.”