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This is the third in a series of DyeStat year-end awards for 2006-07. The DyeStat Most Outstanding Performers series will include boys and girls distance, sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws, and multi-events. These will be followed by the DyeStat Athlete of the Year award. Selections are made by DyeStat editors and are based a combination of multiple major victories/honors won and performances on all-time and yearly lists. Performances from outdoor track, indoor track, and cross-country are taken into account.

Text by Steve Underwood - Photos by Kirby Lee and Vic Sailer

  Bryshon Nellum
Between last season’s returnees and the results from the indoor season, it looked like there might be a lot of candidates for the title of best long sprinter during the spring of 2007. But in the end, one athlete stood alone as the best in the half-lap and full-lap races. During the indoor season, Bryshon Nellum gave just a hint of what was to come with his legs on his Long Beach Poly relay squads at NSIC.

The outdoor season, however, was filled with constant proof of the senior’s superiority, as his magical performances highlighted one meet after another. There was Arcadia, where he blasted a 46.02, anchored a USR 800 Sprint Medley with a 45.6, and ran on two other winning relays. And who will forget Penn, where he hammered a 45.6 anchor on the Jackrabbits’ US#1 3:09.89 4x400 (best US 4x4 since 1997) to hold off the Jamaicans behind the deafening roars of 40,000+ fans? It wasn’t even May yet.

In the 200, Nellom hit US-leading times of 20.79 and 20.58 in May, leading up to state. At CIF, he produced one of the all-time great state meet performances with 2 individual titles, with US#1 20.43 and 45.54 clockings, and 2 relay crowns. In the post-season, he was unchallenged, with 45.38 at USATF Jrs. and 45.40 at Pan Am Jrs.; he had the best 5 clockings of the year in the 400.

Defining Races

1st 400 USATF Jr 45.38
1st 400 Pan Am Jr. 45.40
1st 400 CIF CA State 45.54
1st 200 CIF CA State 20.43
1st 4x400 CIF CA State 3:10.92
1st 4x100 CIF CA State 40.81
1st 200 CA Sou Sect 20.58
1st 4x400 Penn Relays 3:09.89
1st 400 Arcadia 46.02
1st 800 SMR Arcadia 1:28.43

  Sean Holston
Some runners are just built for indoor tracks, with a shorter body and low center of gravity that enables them to rip around those curves. Even rarer is the sprinter who seems to make the curves on those flat tracks work for him. But Sean Holston seemed to be that kind of runner as he had one of the best indoor seasons in history.

With a 1:03.93 500 in late December, Holston began to establish himself at the long sprinter to beat in 2007. By Virginia Tech in late January, he dropped his 300 to 33.68. Then, in a special 300 at the New Balance Games, he made the whole nation take notice with his 33.21 300, #2 all-time. He later took the 500 down to 1:03.45, #7 all-time.

For nationals weekend, he chose the flat track at NIN to make his mark, and the US#1 47.12 400 scorcher he authored there was the best ever on such a surface. With a 21.53 200, he made it a double.

Outdoors, he didn’t quite have the same authority, but was a fine mid-46s/low-21s performer, with some major meet wins and a 2nd in the NON 400 (sans Nellum).

Defining Races

1st NIN 400 47.12
1st NIN 200 21.53
1st New Balance 300 33.21
1st VA Tech 200 33.68
1st VA Northern Reg. 500 1:03.45
2nd NON 400 46.64

  Rynell Parson
Track fans outside of Texas weren’t too familiar with this speediest of the sophomore meteors that crossed our galaxy until the LSU Indoor that kicked off the undercover campaign for many in the South and Southeast. He dashed a 6.35 55-meters there and was off and running for 2007.

Rynell chased soph records with dash wins in Texas during indoor, but it was Jeremy Rankin who wound up with the best season of the Class of 2009 with his NIN win and soph 60 record. The San Antonio Stevens soph had injury issues off and on and wasn’t at his best at NIN, where he placed 3rd.

Outdoors, though, he seemed to come up big when it counted the most, picking up a US#1 win at Texas Southern (10.32), running the fastest prelim at the Texas Relays before weather did most of the competitors in, then taking the 5A Texas 100 in 10.37. But he saved his best for Indy, where he blasted a legal 10.23 in the USATF Jr meet to keep the US#1 mark for the year and set a World Youth record, a soph HSR, and a share of #10 all-time among preps. In a close, crowded field of short sprinters, Rynell had a pretty good argument for #1.

Defining Races

1st USATF Jrs. 100 10.23 (10.30 semi)
1st 5A Texas State 100 10.37
1st UTSA Relays 100 10.32
1st Houston AC 60 6.73
1st LSU Classic 55 6.35
1st Arkansas Inv 200 21.62

  Trenton Guy Jr.
If you recognized only one sprinter by face during the 2007 indoor or outdoor season, it was probably Trenton Guy Jr. With his unmistakable dreads and his sometimes-flailing all-out style, he was a dynamic figure on any track he stepped on.

Indoors, he made his biggest mark at Simplot, zipping to a 6.78 60/21.52 200 double, and also won the VA Tech 60. But he was even better at NSIC, racing to a US#1 21.09, which made him =#4 all-time.

Outdoors, he couldn’t quite get into the 10.30s or the 20s, for 100 and 200, but he came up big when it mattered most. On a weekend when conditions were slow for 100 and 200 runners on both days, Guy ran to a legal PR 10.41 to beat a solid field and get a national outdoor title to go with his indoor crown. He became the only male sprinter to win an individual indoor and outdoor national title..

Defining Races

1st NON 100 10.41
1st NSIC 200 21.09
1st Simplot 200 21.52A
1st Simplot 60 6.78

  Honorable Mention 

Whitney Prevost TX – Closest to making top group, Prevost was just getting started when he swept the TX 4A State meet 100/200. He continued on to pick up the win in the NON 200, then highlighted his summer with the USATF JOs 100 title in Young Men’s.

Gil Roberts OK – In the absence of Bryshon Nellum, the NON 400 was up for grabs among a huge group of sub-47 one-lappers. But Roberts obviously wanted it the most, running a blistering 46.16 PR for US#2. He also ran 46.53 and 20.77 (nwi) earlier in the year.

Jeff Demps FL – Demps saved his best for last, running US#2 10.25 and 10.26 in the semis and finals of the AAU JOs (Young Men), and also taking the 200 in 21.04. The Florida 1A-2A double champ also had a 10.32w.

Michael Dungey TX – Dungey stopped Rynell Parson’s bid for a sprint sweep in the TX 5A meet, taking the 200, then continued strongly into the post-season. He took the Great Southwest 200 title, then was second only to Prevost in Greensboro.

Jeremy Rankin CO – After setting the US soph 60 record at US#1 6.67A, the highlight of Rankin’s season came at NIN where he outslugged a great group of dashmen for the win in that event. Outdoors, he ran 10.32A and was runner-up in the Great Southwest 100.

Shane Crawford IN – Following an undercover campaign that saw him hit US#2 6.26 in the 55, US#3 6.70 in the 60, and take 2nd in the NIN 60, Crawford waited until USATF Jrs to make his biggest outdoor statement. He was 3rd there, which allowed him to go to Pan-Am Jrs., where he hit a 10.34 PR in the semis before getting 4th in the final.

Justin Christian GA – The highlight of Christian’s year was probably NSIC, where he took the 60 in a US#2 6.69 and was 2nd in the 200. His best 100 outdoors was 10.42.

Jahvid Best CA – Best had arguably the best 100/200 double of the year at CIF Finals, hitting 10.31w, then following Nellum across the line in the furlong with a US#2 20.65.

Year-End Awards Index