Some athletes are good at just one sport – Kaitlyn Banas excelled at three in her senior year.
The Cypress Ranch multi-sport star stood out on the volleyball court in the fall, in February won the 95-pound Class 6A Girls Wrestling State Championship and then in May turned around and took second in the 6A Girls Pole vault.
Superstar athlete might actually be an understatement.
“To excel at three completely different sports, it took a lot of discipline,” Banas said. “I had to really take out all the negative things in my life and just focus on getting better on the court, mat or runway.”
Transitioning from volleyball to the wrestling mat wasn’t the hardest adjustment in her year. It was the turn from wrapping up an individual wrestling title and a team state championship for Cypress Ranch to the track.
The biggest challenge was getting back into “track” shape because the training for both is completely different.
“Wrestling I had to do a lot of distance running, tons of drilling, I had to worry about my weight non-stop,” Banas said. “Here we weigh in and I’m like 40 pounds below my pole. You have to do a lot of sprint work here and a lot of distance there. So it’s two different sports, they’re not even related.”
Banas leaves Cypress Ranch as one of the more successful female athletes in its history walking away with seven state medals – 4th, 5th, 5th and 1st in wrestling and 3rd, 3rd and 2nd in pole vaulting.
“It finally hit me that I’m not a high school athlete anymore,” Bansa said. “It’s over. I’m getting emotional about it because that’s been my life for the last six years doing sports all around.
“Now I’m on to bigger and better things. It’s kind of a sad ending but also a happy ending.”
Banas now turns her attention to her collegiate career at the University of Arkansas where she will just pole vault.
“I’m really excited to attend the University of Arkansas because not only is their track team incredible, the pole vault program is the best in the nation,” Banas said. “In high school I was always having to switch focus with my three sports but now it’s time to really focus on pole vault as I will be doing it year round.”
Patrick Carr was Mr. Woodlands.
The University of Houston running back is the all- time leading rusher for the Highlanders and owns the school record in the long jump.
“Was” is the key word in the lead sentence. Enter his cousin Kesean Carter, who completely raised the bar for all future Highlanders to come.
Carter was a two-time, all-state football player at The Woodlands, leading the Highlanders to two district titles and an appearance in the state title game in 2016. The Texas Tech-signee then laced up his sneakers, earning back-to-back, all-district honors in hoops locking up the opponents’ top players.
He was just getting started. Carter held the title as “The Fastest Man in Texas” twice, winning gold in the Class 6A 100-meter dash the last two years. He was also the anchor on the national record-breaking 4x200-meter relay team that won gold in May. His feats helped lead The Woodlands to back-to-back state track titles.
“My time at The Woodlands was amazing,” Carter said. “I wanted to come in and leave a legacy. I think I did.”
It’s no surprise that The Woodlands also won back-to- back UIL Lone Star Cups, which is earned by the high school that accumulated the most extra- curricular points from sports, band and spirit.
Mic drop. Now Mr. Woodlands heads to Texas Tech where he will participate in both football and track.
This article appears in the June Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations starting next week!