Friends and family members packed then stands inside Bullard High School’s gymnasium last week, as Maddie Lee, a member of the Bullard Lady Panther varsity track and field program, signed a letter of intent to take her running abilities to Dallas Baptist University next fall.
“It was really awesome to have the opportunity to sign with DBU,” said Lee. “It’s a really big deal for me. It’s also big for me to be able to participate in any sport at the collegiate level, especially since I haven’t actually been running track for that long.”
Lee, formerly a member of the Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team, said the chose to lay down her bat and glove and focus solely on running track for the Lady Panther varsity track team.
“Halfway through my junior year was when I began to run track,” said Lee. “That’s why signing with DBU was such a big deal, because I have only ran track for two seasons. Coach Pawlak was a huge part of it and was the big push that I needed, as well as my teammates, specifically Kami Stephens and Destinee Dixon. The track team at Bullard is a very big family; overall, the encouragement and drive they have helped me to be more competitive.”
According to Lee, the chance to attend a university focused on Christian beliefs was what made the school attractive to her Lee also said having one of her future coaches approach her about competing on the team helped to seal the deal.
“The idea of going to a Christian college was very big on my list,” said Lee. “DBU is such a huge and beautiful campus and everyone there was very sweet. I met the track coach at one of my track meets, and he was super enthusiastic and ready to have me on his team; it blew my mind that he actually came to me and that I didn’t have to go to him. That really helped me to make this choice.”
In the 2017 BHS track and field season, Lee was a strong force on both sides of the Lady Panther varsity track and field team. At the district meet held at BHS, Lee was able to claim the bronze in the 400 meter dash, placing third with a time of 1:03.81. Lee then competed at the Area track meet in the event, crossing the finish line in second place with a time of 1:01.27. Her senior season came to an end, however, at the Regional track meet, where she took home ninth place with a time of 1:01.04.
Lee also competed at the district meet in the triple jump and long jump field events, placing third with a jump of 34’-3” and fourth with a jump of 15’-10”, respectively, and advancing to the Area track meet in both events.
Lee plans to major in business while attending DBU. She is the daughter of Damion and Wendy Lee and Dedre Vance.
BHS Lady Panther track and field coach Chris Pawlak spoke highly of Lee, saying that she now has the opportunity to improve on her craft at the collegiate level.
“We were very luck and glad to have Maddie on the Lady Panther track and field team for the past two seasons,” said Pawlak. “Her work ethic is very hard to beat. Maddie had several options from some local schools to choose from, but when DBU came calling, she knew that was the school for her. When she gets to SBU and focuses solely on track, the sky is the limit for her. We will miss her, but we wish her the best and hopefully we will be able to attend some of her collegiate meets and watch her grow.”