The 77th edition of Texas Relays may have just a little more hype than usual this year. Mike Meyers stadium will play host to the NCAA championships in June and many of the top college teams are bringing their top relay squads to test themselves in the state of the facility.
The buzz over the prospective match-ups will not be lost on the high school action. Some of that energy will certainly spill over to the high schools which run their events intermingled with the pros and college schedule. The fields will be tough as 5 Track and Field News All-Americans line-up for what should be an entertaining weekend of relays and individual events.
Boys 110 Meter Hurdles HS Div. II
Jason Richardson came to last year’s Texas Relays as somewhat untested hurdler. By meet’s end, Richardson was in elite company as he lost narrowly to senior All-American, Kerron Clement in the final.
Richardson went on to claim fastest time in the nation in the 110m hurdles, 13.51, win the Texas 5A state title over Clement and hurdle to stardom at World Youth Champs. This year, Richardson will enter all his races as the bona fide favorite, but don’t tell Texan Jeremy Jackson that. At the recent NIC Champs on March 13, Jackson(Stony Brook), 4 th behind Richardson at last year’s 5A Texas champs, used a quick start which Richardson could not answer. Afterwards, Richardson had no excuses despite becoming ill The Thursday before the NIC final. Though disappointed, he treated the narrow loss as more of an indicator of a better outdoor season. His typical slow start would be negated over the 110m hurdle distance and with all that came, he was satisfied with his performance. The win wasn’t a surprise for Jackson. He was aiming to win and looking to do more outdoors.
Now, comes the rematch on the biggest stage anyone could imagine. Jackson’s quick start will be put to a test as strong finishing Richardson and multitalented and up and coming Tyler Whitham (Cinco Ranch, 4 th at 2003 5A state) look to knock him off over the final few hurdles. Lance Moss (North Crowley) could make it four under 14.00 making Texas’s hurdling tops in the nation again.
Boys 4x200 Meter Relay HS Div. II Prelims
Seven of Texas’ top teams this season will be on hand in what should be a battle royale. Beaumont Ozen owns this season’s state leader, 1:25.95, but will be challenged by 2 nd fastest, Lancaster (2nd at the 2003 4A state champs last year), and 3 rd fastest, Alief Elsik (3 rd at the 2003 5A state champs). Throw into the mix 2003 5A state runner-up and #2 time in the nation last year, Arlington Bowie, 2003 4A 3 rd placer, Greenville and 5 other teams who have bests within 1.5 seconds of each other……. 20,000 fans could be in for a real treat.
Boys 100 Meter Dash HS Div. II Prelims
It’s hard to believe that Ivory Williams (Beaumont Central) still has one more year remaining. In 2003, he flew to a windy 10.16 in the 100m and equally impressive unaided 20.85 in the 200m at the Texas 4A state meet. Big time performances outside of the state were the only thing that kept him from All-American status. He’ll be one to watch here. Oklahomans Marcus Pugh(Jenks) and Jay Cooper(Jenks) have already ventured in to Texas to pin losses on Texas’ #2 fastest(hand-timed) Richard Crawford( Plano) with their 1-2 finish at the Justin Sheaner Relays. Cooper will be in familiar territory after placing 5 th at last year’s Texas final. The twosome’s times of 10.57 and 10.59 their should put them in the hunt for the title. Again, Texas’ rich tradition of sprinting will bring to the table some of the nation’s best. The field includes: Texas’ season state leader, 10.31ht, 4 th at the 2003 4A state meet and 3 rd in last year’s final Bradley Reed (Greenville); 2003 5A state 100m runner-up Adrian Peterson (Palestine); 2003 5A 100m state 3 rd placer and 200m 5A state runner-up, Otis Mc Daniel (San Antonio Taft); D’Morris Smith(Palestine), 2003 3 rd placer; and Texas’ 6 th ranked, Matthew Harding (South Garland).
This should be another fast Texas final.
Boys 4x400 Meter Relay HS Div. II Prelims
Houston Madison enters with the state’s top time, 3:15.98, but will be challenged by a bevy of Texas’ top relay teams that recorded three of the top ten marks in the nation last year. Alief Elsik, 2003 5A state runner-ups and 3 rd fastest this season; Austin Reagan, 2003 4A state champs; Beaumont Ozen, 7 th fastest this season; Cedar Hill, 2003 5A 4 th placers; Dallas Carter, 2003 5A 8 th placers; Dallas Lincoln, 2003 4A 5 th placers; Ft. Worth Wyatt, 2003 4A 7 th placers; Klein Forest, 5 th fastest this season,2003 5A 3 rd placers and 2 nd at last year’s Texas Relays; and Lancaster, 6 th fastest this season, 2003 4A state runner-ups, and the defending 4 x 400m Texas Relay Champs should make this a sizzling final.
Boys 3200 Meter Run High School
Foot Locker finalist and one the nation’s top 1-mile/2-mile talents, Brian Sullivan(The Woodlands) spoke earlier this year about going for the sub 9 minute barrier at the Texas Relays. He’ll get his chance this Friday night.
Last year’s race was a classic as the pack hung together until late in the race. Surges and lead changes ultimately whittled down the field over the final laps as Logan Sherman(Richardson Pearce) came out on top of then-surprising soph, Scott MacPherson( Plano). MacPherson has had an awesome junior season thus far, earning a berth at the Foot Locker national xc champs, winning the 5A state xc champs in the fastest time of the day and posting this season’s top outdoor 3200m time. Sherman also returns, but as of yet, has not shown the form he had last year. This could be his first real test. 2002 and 2003 Texas Relays 1600m champ and many time 4A state track and xc champion, Leonel Manzano(Marble Falls); 2003 3A boys xc champ and 2003 3A 1600m and 3200m state champ, Alejandro Ruiz(Elgin); 2004 NIC 1 mile 6 th placer, Colby Keithan(Cinco Ranch); 2003 5A 3200m 6 th placer, Brett Olson(Flower Mound); 2003 3A 1600m and 3200m 3 rd placer, Gary Lackey; and 2003 5A 7 th placer, Nick Perez(San Antonio Madison) will provide a fast pack that could push someone under 9:00.
Boys 1600 Sprint Medley High School
Last year’s top two finishers, San Antonio Reagan, and Houston Lamar ran to two of the nation’s top ten times and will try and do the same here. It remains to be seen if Cinco Ranch, Klein, and The Woodlands will line-up their top 800m runners and try to unseat the defending champs.
Boys 2000 Meter Steeplechase High School
Jake Morse’s( Arlington) fast miling and 800m running make this an interesting race to watch. The rarely contested 2k high school steeple should provide some entertainment and possibly give someone an opportunity the showcase the tecnqiues and guts necessary to negotiate the 5 laps of barriers and water jumps.
Boys Distance Medley High School
Senior laden Klein raced to a dominating win at last year’s Texas Relays. Those runners are gone and this year’s top returning miler, Erik Stanley, will focus on the mile. Cinco Ranch, Coppell, Cedar Park, The Woodlands and Elgin all had great xc seasons and could have strong showings here.
Boys 4x100 Meter Relay HS Div. II Prelims
9 of Texas’s top ranked teams this season are entered which promises to be a fast and furious relay final. This year’s fastest team, Houston Worthing(41.02) finished 4 th at the 5A state champs last year. 2 nd ranked this season and 2003 4A state runner-up, Lancaster is only a few steps behind with their 41.14. State placers, Converse Judson(8 th in 5A), Denton Ryan(3 rd in 4A), Lewisville(5 th in 5A), Mesquite Poteet(5 th in 4A), San Antonio Taft(7 th in 5A) will join this season’s state ranked Pearland(4 th), Alief Elsik(8th), Beaumont Ozen(6 th), De Soto(7 th),Greenville(9 th) and last year’s nationally ranked, Jenks(OK) in one of the deepest fields on the meet.
Boys 1 Mile Run High School
Lengthening the normal 1600m run by 9.35 meters may not seem much to ordinary folk, but it means a lot to this year’s group of middle distance runners, the general public, the media, and track fans who have been waiting for the next sub four mile. Steve Magness’(Klein Oak) 4:01.02 mile at last year’s Pre Classi may have been a prelude to some of the fastest miling Texas has ever seen. The organizers of the Texas Relays have accommodated one of the best crop of middle distance runners in their quest for the historical sub 4 minute mile. The nation’s top returning miler, Erik Stanley (Klein) has been focusing on this year’s outdoor season in hopes of making it a memorable one. He started off the season with a strong 800m showing and will focus his energy on producing a fast mile in Texas’ showcase meet. Cinco Ranch’s Kyle Miller has not been shy about his intentions of challenging the 4 minute barrier this season. The speed work geared toward a speedy performance at this weekend was evident in his come from behind victory at NIC. A few more weeks of sharpening leave him poised to join Stanley in the barrier-breaking attempt. 2002 and 2003 Texas Relays mile champion, Leonel Manzano( Marble Falls) seems to save his best for this meet and can’t be discounted either. His long striding slow cadence gait belies the tremendous speed and strength and can generate over the final 400m. Two out of staters will also try and stake their claim to the mile title and a fast time. Arizona ’s state champion,Charles Hampton(Brophy College Prep) and 800m Simplot winner, Michael Greenwood (Palmer CO) add depth to an already loaded field that includes: Luke Hansen(The Woodlands),6 th ranked this season; Cole Hollingsworth(Burleson); 2003 5A 5 th placer, Colby Keithan(Cinco Ranch), 2004 NIC mile 5 th placer; Daniel LaCava( Grace Prep Academy); Jake Morse( Arlington),2003 5A 4 th placer; Brett Olson(Flower Mound), 2003 5A 6 th placer; Alejandro Ruiz( Elgin), 2003 3A xc champ and 2003 3A 1600m and 3200m state champ; and Logan Sherman (Richardson Pearce), 2003 4A 6 th placer and 3200m champ.
Boys Pole Vault Section A High School
Scott Duckworth(Klein Oak) has already cracked the 16 foot barrier with his state leading 16-01 clearance. The 2003 5A state 4 th placer will be challenged by several 15+ foot jumpers.
The two best of the season so far are Livingston’s, Clint Hughes(15-07), and Rio Hondo’s Jimmy Health(15-06). Several of the contenders have already scaled 15-00 and include: Mason Feindeisen(Yoakum), 2003 3A state champion; Derrick Vinkleark(Yoakum), 2003 3A 3 rd placer; Daniel Wallace(San Antonio Reagen), 2003 5A 6 th placer; and somewhat odd comboer,110m hurlder/PV)Tyler Whitham(Cinco Ranch) round out another deep field.
Boys High Jump High School
Expect few misses from the new national indoor record holder (7-05.25), Scott Sellers of Cinco Ranch. According to Sellers, his best days have very few misses. The Olympic “A” standard goal has already been met for the young man who already owns two state titles so it may be a little easier for Sellers to concentrate on his outdoor season.
It won’t be smooth sailing in the sometimes unpredictable HJ. Several challengers could have good days. They include: 2003 3A state runner-up and this season 7 footer, Dusty Jonas(La Vernia);2003 5A 3 rd placer Dunya Bradley(Houston Nimitz) and a 6-11 mark this season; Joel Hargett(Conroe), 2003 5A 3 rd placer and 6-10 this season; Kurtiss Colvin(Austin McCallum), 2003 4A state runner-up; and Davis Trail (Callisburg) who has jumped 6-10 this season.
Boys Long Jump Section A High School
Trevor Gerland of arguably Texas’s state best team, enters wit the top LJ mark of the season, 24-02.5. The 2003 5A 3 rd placer will be challenged by 2003 5A 4 th placer, Adam Fretwell(Cypress Creek) and @003 5A 6 th placer, Hugh Charles( Keller). The nation’s best TJ,Cessley Johnson(Frisco), should add some spice to the field.
Boys Triple Jump High School
Cessley Johnson(Frisco) boomed a national leading 51-01 jump to win the Texas 4A state champs last year. The distance earned him Track and Field All-American status. The competition may have to battle for second if Johnson gets off another mark like last year. Dusty Jonas(La Vernia), 48-11 already this year; Tay Arnold(Odessa), 4 th in state this year(47-06);Connell Davis(Gregory-Portland), 2003 4 th placer; Danny Hildreth(Houston MacArthur), 3 rd ranked this season; Bryce Allen(Wharton), 2003 state runner-up; Daniel Quinn(McKinney), 2003 5A 4 th placer; and Richard Sampson(Shoemaker), 2003 4A 6 th placer could push each other beyond the 49-00 mark.
Boys Shot Put Section A High School
2003 4a 4 th placer,Nick Baucum( Corpus Christi) is the current state leader with a 61-05 throw. He get a challenge from last year’s top Texas Relay returnee(3 rd) and 2003 5A runner-up, Kemuel Morales(Calhoun). Jason Guillory( De Soto), 6 th ranked this season(58-06); Michael Shumard( Harker Heights), 2003 4A 7 th placer; John Tipton Wichita Falls Ri), 9 th ranked; and Daniel Walker(Rockwall, 2003 5A 3 rd placer and currently 3 rd ranked will all be looking for that 60-00 barrier.
Event 122 Boys Discus Throw High School
2003 5A state runner-up, Brad Sellers(Arlington Bowie)enters with the best mark this season(188-11), but he has several challengers nipping at his heels. Elris Anyaibe(De Soto),7 th ranked this season(177-02);Robert Clark(Weatheford), 4 th ranked and 2003 5A 4 th placer; Donald Horton (De Soto), 178-07 this season; Franklin Okam(Lake Highlands), 2003 5A 5 th placer; Brock Stickler(Lampasas), ranked 2 nd in the satte (188-02) and 2003 4A state runner-up; and Derek Lokey(Denton Ryan)2003 4A 3 rd placer could push someone over the 190-00 mark; a mark only one Texan accomplished last season.