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Relays Recap

It's impossible to capture four days of unbelievable track and field in a few hundred words, especially when one considers the sheer amount of PRs, facility records, meet records, world records, memories, etc. So we'll capture the highlights, add a few pictures and look forward to the remainder of the season.

The most anticipated event didn't disappoint - Men's Elite Pole Vault. Far too long and complex an issue to discuss here, Armand "Mondo" Duplantis overcame politics supported by a social media outcry (FREE MONDO) to compete with world record-leader Renaud Lavillenie of France. Lavillenie, Shawn Barber (Kingwood Park HS, Akron, Canada) and Mondo all cleared 19-05, but Mondo's clearance earned him another World Junior U20 Record, besting his 19-04.25 from last year's Texas Relays.

The 91st running of the Texas Relays began in traditional fashion: collegiate heptathlon and decathlon. Taliyah Brooks (Wichita Falls Rider, University of Arkansas), buoyed by her success at DI Indoor Nationals and the 2017 SEC Outdoors, captured the Heptathlon crown with 5,946 points, while Wichita State's Hunter Veith surpassed 8,000 points to capture the Decathlon.

And then the high schoolers arrived.

Let's start with the girls.

Sanaa Barnes of Northwest Nelson (Villanova signee) and Alyssa Miller (Baylor signee) displayed form and grace to go 1-2 in the girl's high jump, both clearing 5-10. Lauren Lowe of St. Agnes Academy swept the hurdles, 14.24 and 43.59, while the DeSoto Girls swept the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400, earning them Texas Relays High School Team Most Outstanding Performer accolades.

Dallas Carter's Sha'Carri Richardson (LSU signee) and Alvin's Kyneddy Flannel (UT signee) ran 100-meter dash times of 11.42 and 11.40 respectively, but both were slightly wind-aided.

McKinney North's super sophomore London Culbreath anchored the team's Sprint Medley to a Texas #1 and Texas Relays record 3:55.21; Culbreath then ran a Texas #1, US #12 3200 Saturday morning: 10:30.24

Emily Wilson of St. Mary's Hall - the only high school girl to compete in all three throwing events - tossed the javelin 140 feet, tops in Texas this year (7th in the US). Sarah Tackitt of Frenship continued her assault on her own school record in the vault; she PRs nearly every week. On Saturday, she extended her mark to 12-06.75, winning the Girl's B Section, while the A Section delivered an incredible finish: New Caney's Nastassja Campbell (SFA signee) and Flower Mound Marcus' Makenzie Hayward each cleared 14 feet with Campbell winning via jumps. Olivia Buntin of New Braunfels Canyon (UT signee) captured third with a PR of 13-03.

And then came Jas.

Mansfield Lake Ridge's Jasmine Moore, the nation's preeminent high school horizontal jumper, won the long jump with a personal best of 20-07, but her show didn't end there. On Saturday, she soared 44-01 in the triple to post the third-best mark ever in Texas, behind only Ychlindria Spears and Erica McLain (44-03.50.) To put this mark into perspective, 44-01 places Jasmine in seventh-place at the DI Indoor Nationals just a few weeks ago. The next closest mark in the nation by a high school girl is 41-09 by Sydnee Larkin of Cherokee Trail HS in Colorado. PS - on the current NCAA Outdoor Performance List, 44-01 ranks fourth.

On the boy's side, Bishop Dunne's relay teams captured gold in both the 4x100 (41.12) and 4x200 (1:26.25). Tre'Bien Gilbert of Converse Judson and De'Vion Wilson of Hutto have set the pace in the hurdles for most of the outdoor season; at the Relays, each captured a title, Wilson in the 110s (13.72) and Gilbert in the 300s (36.87.)

Tito, a.k.a. Otito Ogbonnia, of Katy Taylor won the disc at 185-09 and came in third in the shot - 61-05.25. Sealy High School's Tyrek McNeese won the triple jump at 49-09, tops in Texas and third in the US.

Keyshawn Everly of Fort Worth Trimble Tech dropped a US #4 100-meter dash in 10.37 (3.6 wind), while Aledo sophomore Graydon Morris' 9:08.84 3200 is tops in Texas and twelfth in the US.

Three vaulters in the B Section cleared 16-02, Warren Miller of Tolar, Kyle Stifflemire of Copperas Cove and JT Herrscher of Greenhill, while Norwegian vault star Sondre Guttormsen cleared 17-11 in the A Section.

College athletes, be they from Texas or representing Texas colleges and universities, also shined over the weekend. Charles Brown of Tech set the school record in the long jump, reaching 26-09.25, while the Aggie Women's 4x800 broke a 32-year-old school mark, running 8:29.25. Tonea Marshall of Arlington Seguin and LSU ran a 12.73 100 hurdles, just behind UTs Rushelle Burton.

Early Saturday afternoon, UT celebrated its own: Mike Perrin was cheered as Honorary Referee, Bevo made an appearance, the Red Bull parachutists landed beautifully, and Longhorn seniors were rewarded for their hard work and dedication to the sport and university.

The 91st running of the Texas Relays was an unbelievable four-day meet, expertly managed by Meet Director James Barr and a staff of hundreds. Already looking forward to the 92nd running.

**All pictures and interviews property of the TTFCA

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