Bryson’s determination results in state berth

Cameron’s Za’Kara Bryson was ever so close to advancing to the state track meet in 2017. As a junior, she finished in third place at regionals in the 100 meter dash, just one spot short of a trip to Austin.


Bryson was determined to push past that mark in 2018 - her senior season. Bryson took that next step, not only winning gold in the 100 meter dash, but also advancing to state in the 200 with a second place finish at regionals two weeks ago in Waco.


“This year, I proved that I could get better,” she said. “Last year, I didn't believe I could get back to my old self after getting hurt. This year, I pushed forward and put my mind to it.”


It has been a long, hard journey to get to the state meet for Bryson. Whenever she was not working over the summer, she was at the track.


“She was self-motivated”, said her coach Corey Cunningham. “She would come up here all summer and she did what it took. She was not going to miss out this year.”


On many occasions, she would get off of work at 11:00 pm and head directly to the track, running until 2:00 am in the morning.


“I kept doing it and doing it throughout the whole summer, and I had it in my head that I had to go for it,” Bryson said. “The first day of practice at school they tried to kill us, but I was happy to get that workout, and we are still getting pushed harder than ever. At times, I couldn't give it anymore, but I had great coaches that encouraged me and let me know that I was at the regional track meet last year and I had got third. I needed to push for it all and that has helped me to where I am now.”


Bryson moved to Cameron the beginning of her junior year, coming from LBJ in Austin. At LBJ, she had the privilege of advancing to state in relay events, but that was not in the cards in Cameron.


“I felt like I needed to prove myself,” she said. “This year, I was alone and I could not depend on my teammates like I could in Austin.”


Bryson noted how welcomed she has felt throughout her time in Cameron, whether it be by the friendly smiles or the congratulations she would get from people she had never met.


The move has has allowed her to grow as a person.


“I feel like being apart of this program has opened up new things for me and changed my outlook on life,” said the senior. “I have become more of a team member and have done things I never thought I would do. I have just grown.”


Part of those accomplishments and growth have afforded her the opportunity to not only continue her academics, but also her athletic career.


Bryson, which has trimmed her 100 meter dash time down from 13.04 to 12.37, has committed to run track at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin.


“Coach Dennis is a really great coach,” she said. “He was at the Rockdale track meet. When I met him, he said he was interested in me and texted and called me every day. I loved the way he interacted with me, and was interested in what I wanted to do with my life besides track. He has given my good advice and I fell in love with the school.”


Bryson said she enjoys talking politics and will be majoring in criminal justice once on campus in the fall.


Before that, she will be competing for a medal on the state’s largest stage from Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas on Friday.


The 100 meter dash is set for 6:05 pm with the 200 meter dash to come shortly thereafter at 7:25 pm.


Bryson has been to state before and says that once she’s in the moment, there will be nothing that distracts her from the task at hand.


“I want to give it my all and go for it,” she said. “Just go past that wall, and give it my all. I may not win, but all I know is I want to be happy with the way that I ran and know that I gave it my all. “


“It’s going to be a very special time in her life, added Cunningham. “She came into this season with a goal and a vision to making it to the state meet. Now she’s here and she has realized that vision and that goal.”