An Elite Weekend!

February 4, 2018

From Lubbock to New York City to Colorado Springs to Seattle and to Lake Charles, LA, Texas high school athletes put the nation on alert: 2018 will be a banner year for Texas high school track and field.  

 

Lubbock, Texas, birthplace of rock 'n' roll legend Buddy Holly.  Six athletes ventured to Tech's beautiful new facility and performed most impressively - against collegiate talent, as well!  The six include, in alphabetical order, Kennedy Blackmon, Alexis Brown, Jayla Hollis, Bailey Lear, Wes McPhail, and Jasmine Moore.

 

Blackmon: All Blackmon did was set two personal bests, 24.15 in the 200, good for 7th place, and 54.74 in the 400, good enough for 4th place and 4th all-time in the Texas indoor record books, according to TXMileSplit's database.

 

Brown: Brown qualified for the 60 finals with a 7.54 prelims; then she turned it on for a personal best of 7.49 in the finals, good for 6th place.  Later in the day, she ran a 10th-place personal best of 24.37 in the 200.

 

Hollis: Hollis' 8.70 in the 60 hurdles was not only a PR, but it was also good enough for 7th place, while her 200 PR of 24.08 put her in 6th place.  

 

Lear: Lear blazed the track for a 1st-place finish in the 400, crossing the line in a personal best of 53.20.  This time not only leads the nation, but also surpasses Courtney Okolo's 2012 time of 53.21 at the Brooks PR Invitational for the all-time 400 time in Texas indoor history.  Lear's 53.20 is 8th all-time US!  A few hours later, Lear came in 12th in the 200 with a time of 24.46.  {72 athletes, mostly collegians, competed in the 200.}

     "Going into the race, I knew I was going to be challenged," Lear told me, "so my focus point was making it to the break first.  After making it to the break first, I trusted in my training."  As for her spectacular indoor season, she added, "The indoor season has been great for me.  It’s a great motivation for my outdoor season. With God and great health, the possibilities are limitless."

 

McPhail: Wes McPhail showed his impressive Mile time by finishing second with a PR of 4:19.11.  Later in the day, he finished 14th in the 3000 with a time of 9:01.21. 

     As for his race strategy, McPhail told me, "I mostly was going in knowing I wanted to start the season off with a big race in the Mile. I had planned to sit behind the top two guys who had PR’s of 4:18 and 4:19, but I went out pretty slow at almost a 64 (wanted a 62 first 400), so I led most of the race till about 350 left; the two had passed me. I made another effort with a lap to go to try and get the win, but he had just about as much as I had left.  Overall [I'm] happy with the time and how early it is in my training, still having heavy mileage and all, so I’m happy."

 

Moore: Like the Eveready Bunny, Jasmine just keeps ticking along.  With a jump of 42-01.25, Moore claimed second place.  

 

 Picture by Winston Lear

 

New York City's World-Famous Armory.  Makenzie Hayward, the nation's #1 returning vaulter from Flower Mound Marcus, wins the High School Girl's section of the Millrose Games with an impressive 13-05.25, a new indoor PR for the junior.  

 

 

 Picture on NYMileSplit

 

Colorado Springs - At the Air Force Academy's High School Open, Turkey Valley's Jake Merrell came in second in the 800 with a time of 1:55.14.  

 

Seattle, the birthplace of Starbuck's - At the University of Washington High School Invitational, Katy Cinco Ranch high jumper Daniella Munoz clears 5-05 and has 3 excellent attempts at a personal best 5-07.  

 

Lake Charles, LA: At the McNeese High School Invitational, many Texans performed well.  Here's the link to the results: http://la.milesplit.com/meets/299196/results/565085/formatted#.WnchcK2ZOb8.  Among the first-place champions are: Pleasant Harris (long jump; 18-01), Cash Kunkel (1600; 4:29.99 and the 800; 2:01.23), Blake Grace (55H; 7.87), Campbell Webb (pole vault; 15-06), and Patrick Piperi (shot put; 59-06).

 

If indoor success is any indication of how the season will fare, then there's no doubt that the 2018 Outdoor Season, which starts later this week, will be incredible!

 

 

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