Upon waking up this morning and checking Twitter, as custom dictates, it dawned on me: a lot of Texas athletes are setting personal records, while many are national contenders in their respective events, and a few have etched their names into perpetuity (for now, as records are meant to be broken.)
For those in tune with Texas Track & Field, names like Jasmine Moore and Eric Edwards are commonplace, yet they continue to astound. Jasmine Moore of the North Texas Cheetahs Track Club (Mansfield Lake Ridge) continued her national assault on the triple jump, adding the Indoor Junior Class record to her resume. At the Wes Kittley Under Armour HS Meet, she soared to 42-09.50 to claim this crown. As for her record jump, she told me: "After last weekend, I wasn’t too happy with my performance, so that week I just worked on fixing the things I did wrong. It’s exciting to break records, so I was very happy I broke the junior-class record. But the main goal was just to jump far this weekend, and I had some good jumps there. My body felt fresh, so I knew I was going to jump good." [picture by TXMileSplit]
As for Eric Edwards, all he did at the Wes Kittley Under Armour HS Meet was post Texas' all-time mark in the 60 hurdles (according to TXMileSplit.) His time of 7.66 leads the nation, and there's no doubt the University of Oregon is thrilled to see its signee performing so well this early in the 2018 season. “I was pleased with my time," Eric said, "extremely proud of myself and everyone in the race, as well. You know it was a fast race when 5 athletes go under 8 seconds.” If you want to watch his race, it's available on TXMileSplit and Eric's Twitter feed.
Bailey Lear, a USC signee from Frisco Heritage and D2R, dropped her 400-meter personal best to 53.89 in the prelims at the Wes Kittley Under Armour HS Meet, while Jayla Hollis of the North Texas Cheetahs has captured gold multiple times this season, most prominently in the 200 where she posted a 24.17 at the Arkansas HS Invitational. In fact, ALL North Texas Cheetahs who competed in Lubbock set a personal best, as did many from El Paso Socorro.
If you don't know these names yet, pay attention; soon, you will:
Golden Eke, long jump, Langham Creek
Libby McGrath, distance, San Antonio Homeschool
Ryleigh Redding, pole vault, Victoria West
Branson Ellis, pole vault, Tyler Lee
Annika Williams, high jump, College Station
Patrick Piperi, shot put, The Woodlands. If the name sounds familiar, he's Adrian's younger brother and blazing his own path in the throws.
Jais Smith, sprints, Mansfield Legacy
Kelly Rowe, sprints, Mansfield Lake Ridge
Parker Clay, throws, Shiner St. Paul
Makenzie Hayward of Flower Mound Marcus, the nation's #1 returning female vaulter prior to the start of the 2018 season, is turning into form, clearing 13-04 at the Lovejoy Texas Express PV & HJ Meet. She's competing in the Millrose Games in two weeks. Watch her interview here:
At the Texas A&M HS Invitational, 7 meet records fell, and at the Carl Lewis Invitational in Houston, Buster Roberts of Luling TC lowered the Mile time to 4:21.61.
A plethora of personal bests are recognized on TXMileSplit, the TTFCA homepage, Twitter, Facebook, and more; it's near impossible to track and announce every personal best. And there's still more indoor season to come: Millrose Games, New Balance, Oklahoma Indoor meets, etc., so this begs a question: isn't it time for the state of Texas to create an Indoor circuit? The interest certainly exists, and for a state so dominant on the national high school scene, it's time to explore the logistics.