MacKayla Womack will compete in her fourth and final year in the discus and shot put at Velma-Alma and will do so after signing to throw at Northwestern Oklahoma State.
The senior for the Lady Comets this past Wednesday afternoon was joined by her teammates, family and other senior classmates to celebrate her career at Velma-Alma.
Womack, in her freshman year throwing the discus and shot put, finished in the top 5 of each category in the Class A State meet although her sophomore season was canceled as a result of COVID-19.
In her junior season a year ago after coming off an injury, Womack finished eighth overall in the shot put and fifth overall in the discus throw at the Class A State Meet.
Visiting the campus earlier this school year, Womack knew it was a great fit for her once she visited with the coaching staff and felt like it was the right choice.
“At first my coach had mentioned it to me and I looked a little bit into it and I knew I wanted to go and throw,” Womack said. “When we looked into it, we decided to make a visit to meet Coach Lancaster and the school itself and I just instantly fell in love with the program up there, with the coaches, staff and faculty — all just really good to me. They wanted to find every way possible to get me up there and (were) really good people.”
While the injury made some of her distance drop off, Womack still worked hard and her memories of representing Velma-Alma make her feel grateful.
“I have had quite a history at Velma and it was really hard having a COVID year and last year was a really big struggle with having my back injury and I found out I fractured two vertebras,” Womack said. “I didn’t think a college would really want me, but then later on when I got up there she was like, ‘I trust you and I have seen your stats and I have seen how you have thrown through your high school years.’
“From my freshman year, missing sophomore year and going my junior year and competing and still going — she was really impressed by that,” Womack said. “But Velma has given me so many memories and I ended up living with my track coach. I have been in so many different places but track has always been home to me. It just has always been something I can lean back on and its something that I always have and have always been good at it and I always enjoy it. To find a school that I get to go and continue my career — it will definitely be hard leaving Velma and not having to compete with the Comet name, but it will always be home for me and I’m grateful for the memories and times for competing under the Comet name.”
Her track coach Jerry Loveall confirmed she will make the first thrower to go to college for Velma-Alma in school history. He knows her work ethic is what got her there.
“She likes to compete and she likes to throw and I am proud of her and a lot of time and a lot of effort to get to where she is at,” Loveall said. “She has been a big part of it and any program that has done well has good leadership from the kids themselves. They take a little ownership in their program and they want to try and excel themselves, but they also want the team to excel. As a senior, she has worked her way up through that and always has been one of those kids that just worked as hard as anybody.”
Some of the middle school track kids were there to greet Womack at the signing and congratulate her. Loveall said that is just a testament of her giving back to the younger kids.
“She sets examples for the younger kids to watch and you noticed we had a lot of young kids and she is kind of helping with them because she is an aid to me for one of the hours,” Loveall said. “She loves to teach and coach so she kind of passes on that down to the next group and it sure makes it easier on me when the kids fall in line and do what you ask them to do.”
Womack was very thankful for Coach Loveall and her father for getting her to this point and is proud to represent them in the next level.
“I’d personally like to thank my coaches. Coach Loveall has, ever since sixth grade, worked with me and he has always taken the time to work with me,” Womack said. “He has always supported me through everything to help me and help me through my back surgery and in recovering and get me to the point where I am now to prepare for my next season. Very thankful for my father, he has been always a supporter in my life and knows my goals I want with track and the love I have for it. I am very thankful for his love and support, always being there. Even when he couldn’t make it to meets, he has always been in my corner fighting for me. Also, my team in general for having a family call my own at all times.”