Yslas ready to embark on final season at TTU
By Sparta Live | January 23, 2014 12:00 am
Lacy Yslas is on the home stretch of her athletic career at Tennessee Tech.
The 2009 graduate of White County High School already has her diploma from TTU, but is finishing out her career for the Golden Eagle track and field team while working on her master’s in the spring semester.
Yslas graduated in December with a bachelor’s of science degree in exercise science. Her concentration was in licensure, which as she explains, certifies her as a K-12 physical education teacher. During her time as an undergraduate at TTU, she finished most semesters on the dean’s list. That includes her inclusion on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in her final semester as an undergraduate. Yslas finished that semester with a perfect 4.0 making the Gold Club.
Just because she has already graduated doesn’t mean life is easy for Yslas now. In addition to working on her master’s in sports management, she is also a graduate assistant in the EXPW department at TTU. With that, she teaches three classes and supervises undergraduate students who are doing field experience. All of that is in addition to training and competing in her senior season of track and field.
Yslas and the rest of the TTU track and field team are currently involved in their indoor season, but as the year moves along that will turn into outdoor competition. At her first indoor meet, Yslas competed in the weight throw with her best throw measuring at 39 feet 2.5 inches.
During her days at TTU, Yslas has competed in four different events: discus, shot put, javelin and weight throw (indoor).
She is in the top five all-time at Tennessee Tech in two different events. She is fourth all time in the discus with a throw of 136’10” during the OVC Championships in 2010. Her javelin throw of 108’11” during the OVC in 2012 ranks her fifth all time in that event.
Yslas began her college athletic career at TTU in the spring of 2010. A sledding accident during the winter of her sophomore year ended with a shattered fibula forcing her to redshirt that season.
Prior to enrolling at Tennessee Tech, Yslas was a three-sport athlete at WCHS. Actually, track and field was just an extra along the way. She didn’t start that sport until her junior year. She played volleyball all four years for the Warriorettes, but her love or her passion (as she describes) it was basketball.
Yslas had long had dreams of playing basketball in college. She played in all the youth leagues, moved on to elementary basketball, middle school, spent her spring and summers playing AAU and travel ball and then became a member of the varsity as a freshman. She became a member of the 1,000-point club during her days at WCHS.
However, it wasn’t basketball that wound up paying her way through school.
Yslas explains her path to track and field and the scholarship that came along with it.
“I played basketball since I was three. It was my passion. I mean I played it year round doing AAU, etc. Finally, the last semester of my senior year, the passion was gone. I guess after 14 straight years of it I was “burnt out.” I hate that it happened like that. However, my sophomore year of high school, a girl named Markie Voyles moved to Sparta and she was an outstanding cross country runner. At the time, we did not have a cross country or track team. She ran for a different school that year and the next year (our junior year) they created a cross country and track team. I am assuming that it was created because of Markie. That year, Coach Bruce asked me if I ever thought about throwing. I was kind of just like, ‘Yeah sure, whatever, I’ll do it.” (Respectfully of course). So, I joined the team and the rest was history.
“I really took to the discus. I enjoyed it and did well in it even though I was only doing a half spin. My junior year, I made it to sectionals and missed state by inches. I made it to state my senior year. As fate would have it, I was burnt out on basketball and doing great in track. That’s when I decided I wanted to pursue track in college. Coach Bruce got in touch with Tech and my future college coach came to watch me at senior year districts and state. At state, he introduced me to one of my teammates that was also competing. She and I lived together throughout college and are now best friends.
“I think that it’s just a classic example of how things change. Nothing is certain and you just have to roll with the punches. If I would have pursued basketball, I would have been miserable. I needed that break. Do I miss it now? Absolutely. I go to most of the basketball games at Tech and yell and tell them to box out, etc. With that being said, I’m still extremely happy that I did what I did. I loved every minute of it. I have made some amazing memories and amazing friends that I will never forget.”
Yslas hopes that others are not afraid to follow the course she took and not limit themselves. Deciding to step outside of her comfort zone turned into a scholarship and getting her education paid for because something she had never once been a part of her plans.
She added, “It was extremely important that I tried a new sport that wasn’t necessarily a part of what I had always dreamed about. Like I said, had I not, I would not be where I am today. Athletics in college has truly blessed me. Also, being from White County and the first person to be a college athlete in track and field means the world. I am so excited that I could be a stepping stone in building the program. College track scholarships are everywhere, so why not do something fun and exciting and get your degree paid for. Being a college athlete has taught me dedication, self-discipline, integrity, and so much more. I would highly recommend any and everyone to pursue track and field at White County.”
As far as her career at Tech, she has a few more months to further establish her name in the record books. Her goal is to leave TTU with a school record, but whether or not that happens, she has made the most of an opportunity that just all of a sudden appeared.
“My career at Tech has been a crazy, fun ride,” noted Yslas. “I’ve done things I never thought I could. I’ve come extremely close to breaking the school record, which I am hoping to do this year. I have made some amazing friends that are going to last a lifetime. And my personal favorite, I got my college degree paid for. Words can’t really describe how blessed and honored I am to have had this opportunity.”
She further added, “I just want to thank a few people because without them, I would not have had this opportunity. Markie Voyles. She is the reason we have track and field at White County now. If she had not moved her, this would not even have been a possibility. Coach Bruce for asking me to try out. I would never have done that on my own. I can’t forget my parents. They have always been so supportive and helped me with everything I ever needed to be successful in sports.”
The following are Yslas career best throws in each event with the school record in parenthesis.
The following are Yslas’ career best throws in each event:
Shot Put 38’6.25” SIU-2013 (43’1”)
Weight Throw 39’7.25” OVC 2010 (54’11.25”)
Javelin 108’11” OVC 2012 (123’10”)
Discus 136’10” OVC 2010 (143’)
Shot Put 36’11” Vandy 2010 (44’7.50”)
The next indoor meet for TTU is February 2nd at Tennessee State University. The indoor season runs through the first part of March with the outdoor season beginning on March 21st.