Minds to Lead – Hands to Serve – Hearts to Love

Q & A with Student Athlete Lyla

Dual spring sport athlete excels on the field & in the sector

Shot put, high school athlete, Austin Catholic High School, high school track and field, Cardinal Meet

To view results of all of our Crusader Track and Field athletes:

Junior Lyla M. is heading to the State Finals in the shot put event for the second time on June 3rd. It is impressive to qualify for the state meet, and Lyla’s accomplishment is even more exciting as she also plays softball for the Parkway Christian/Austin Catholic High School Co-op Team.

When she began her high school career at Austin Catholic High School, softball was not a sport offered by the school, so to stay active, she joined the track team. Then, she realized she might have a future in the sport. This season is the first year Austin Catholic High School has offered the sport of softball, and Lyla was faced with the difficult decision of what to do and which sport to pick. With the help, guidance, and understanding of all the coaches, Lyla was allowed to participate in BOTH track & field AND softball. She has put in the work and shown that this opportunity was not wasted on her.

On the softball field, Lyla, who plays catcher, has thrown out 11 runners on the base paths and picked off 2. She’s also stepping up to the plate with a .636 batting average, an on-base percentage of .709, three home runs, and 21 RBI.

In track & field, Lyla participates in the shot put and discus events. For shot put, she has earned herself three 1st place finishes, five 2nd place finishes, a new personal record of 32’1″, and another trip to the State Finals on June 3rd. For the discus event, she has earned six top 8 finishes, and set a new personal record of 74’9″.

On May 25th, Lyla, along side Class of 2025 runner Helana N., made Austin Catholic High School history by becoming the first Track & Field athletes to place at the Macomb County Regional Championships. Helana, who will be running Cross Country and Track & Field at University of Detroit Mercy next season, placed 6th in the 3200M, and earned Division 2/3/4 1st Team All County. Lyla, placed 7th in the shot put and earned Division 2/3/4 3rd Team All County.  Good luck to both Crusader athletes on June 3rd!

Video of Lyla throwing a runner out at second and then hitting a home run to right field.

Q & A

How long have you been participating in the shot put event? Do you see yourself continuing throughout high school or in college?

I have been participating in the shot-put event since freshmen year, so about three years. I would love to continue my senior year since I am pushing to hit 40 feet by the end of my senior season. I also want to continue throwing in college. 

How many times have you been to the states, if previously, what did you learn that you will use this year?

I have been to states one time prior, making this year my second year qualifying for states. A lesson that I learned from last year and will use now is, you may not come out on top and that is okay. Just always make sure you gave your full potential because nothing is guaranteed. 

What strengths do you believe you have that make you a great athlete?

Strengths that I believe I have as both a person and an athlete are determination, grit, leadership, and “coachability”. I believe I have these characteristics because I am always the first to jump on and lead my peers. 

What clubs, teams, or extracurricular activities were you involved in during high school?

Extracurricular activities I have been involved in during high school are varsity boys’ basketball, varsity girls’ basketball, varsity volleyball, varsity track and field, golf, student government, and National Honor Society. I have also participated in community service to help the people around me.

(Yes, varsity boys basketball! A girl’s basketball team was not always offered. Instead of skipping the season, she joined the boys team.)

How do you manage to be a spring season dual sport athlete and student?

This year playing two spring sports, softball, and track was new. Before high school, the only spring sport I had ever played was softball, but with softball not being available at Austin I decided to try track and field. This goes along with God’s timing. You never know when a new door will open but when it does it leads you down the right path. Though I was very hesitant at first, I tried and found out that I loved it as well. So, when softball became available this year, I decided I could not give up on track due to my prior achievements in going to States. At first, it was difficult trying to balance going from one type of practice to the other but once it became a part of my routine it was much easier. Being a dual sport athlete is not easy, especially when you play two very intense sports. But I think as an athlete, once you fall in love with a sport you can take the player out of the sport, but you can’t take the sport out of the player. 

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us! We hope your story can inspire other Crusaders, encourage them to try new things, and not to be afraid to work hard!