SPC State Championship Preview
On May 4-5, 2018, the Southwest Preparatory Conference will crown its 2018 individual and team state champions. The St. Mark's School of Dallas will host the single-classification championship featuring several top-tier talents.
Let's start with the boys.
Genson Hooper Price of St. John's is an absolutely special athlete. Besides his track prowess, which we'll get to shortly, he's a 6' 5", 205-pound wide receiver with offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Baylor, Houston, Cal, Arizona, and Duke; more are sure to follow. On the track, Price leads the SPC in four categories: 100 (10.65 FAT, 2.6 wind), 400 (47.94), triple jump (44-09), and long jump (22-10.75). He also runs on sprint relays. At the SPC South Zone Meet (April 20-21), a.ka. the Nick Finnegan Invitational, Price put SPC opponents on notice; he won the 100 (10.70), 400 (47.94), anchored the winning 4x100 (41.88) and 4x400 (3:22.98), the long jump (22-04), and claimed silver in the triple jump (43-07.50.) By the way, he's only a junior. And he's also the defending state champion in the 100 (10.57, 3.1 wind), 400 (48.12) and triple jump (46-02.)
St. Stephen's' Crayton Carrozza leads the SPC in three categories: 800 (1:52.48), 1600 (4:11.79) and 3200 (9:19.22.) Carrozza's 800 time ranks #1 in Texas, #5 in the United States; his 1600 time ranks #2 in Texas and #12 in the U.S., while his 3200 time ranks 16th in Texas. A two-time SPC XC State Champion, Carrozza won the 3200 (9:34.83) at last year's state championship and finished second in the 1600 (4:28.81.) Can he run a clean sweep this year, elevating his name into SPC distance lore? It's actually possible that Carrozza claim four golds, as he also anchors the 4x800.
The hurdles belong to St. Stephen's' Jamal January, who leads the SPC in the 110s at 14.43 and the 300s at 38.67. At the Nick Finnegan Invitational, January also ran second leg on the third-place 4x100, second leg on the second-place 4x400, won the triple jump (43-07.50), and snared second in the long jump behind Price (21-03.)
Price, Carrozza and January lead the SPC in seven of the eight individual running events; the 200 belongs to senior Cameron Conyers of St. Stephen's - 21.79. The University of Tulsa commit's time of 48.33 in the 400 ranks second in the SPC.
As for the relays, St. John's leads in all three: 4x100 (41.88), 4x400 (3:22.98) and 4x800 (8:03.56). In total, St. Stephen's leads St. John's six to five on the track.
How about field events? Will they help make the difference as to the 2018 team champion?
We already know that Genson Hooper Price leads the SPC in both the long and triple jumps, but Jamal January is capable of challenging for the top spot and helping St. Stephen's bring home the title for the second-consecutive year.
Preston Swiggart, Texas A&M signee, of Houston Christian leads the SPC in the high jump at 6-08, and teammate, freshman Donovan Jackson leads in the discus at 142-06. Ben Belton of Fort Worth Country Day leads the SPC in the shot at 49-03, and junior JT Herrscher of Greenhill School leads in pole vault at 16-02.
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Of the seventeen scored events, the Kinkaid girls possess the state leader in eight while Hockaday claims the top spot in six. On the SPC leaderboard, each field event has a different individual leader, and no girl leads a field and running event, so the distribution makes for a different kind of intriguing championship race.
Let's begin with The Kinkaid School of Houston and its sprint star, Kennedy Gamble, a Stanford signee. She's the defending state champion in both the 100 and 200, and looks to end her fabulous career on a high note. She leads the SPC in the 100 (11.61, 2.2 wind) and the 200 (23.84, -0.9 wind) and is second in the 400 behind Hockaday's Sophie Isom at 58.28.
Isom earned SPC North Zone high-point athlete honors with a tremendous performance that includes winning the 100, 200, 4x100, and long jump. The Yale University signee wants to provide Hockaday the points necessary to claim back-to-back Girl's Championships.
Hockaday teammate Adoette Vaughan rules the distance races. A junior like Crayton Carrozza who rules the boy's distance races, Vaughan's time in the 800 is 2:17.04, the 1600 4:53.49 and 3200 10:26.87.
In the hurdles, Hockaday's Justice Coutee-MCullum claims the 100 regular-season title (15.47) while Kinkaid's Jalen Elrod claims the 300 regular-season title at 45.72.
Kinkaid owns two of the top three times in the relays, the 4x100 (47.96) and the 4x400 (4:01.59), while Hockaday claims the 4x800 at 10:07.00.
One thing that differentiates the SPC Girls from the Boys is that each field event has a different leader, and not one leads a category on the track. Three of the events - long jump, shot put and pole vault - are lead by Kinkaid athletes: Lydia Patterson (18-04), Marilyn Nwora (41-03) and Audrey Ho (11-00) respectively.
Kansas Watts and Bellaire Episcopal teammate Jamie Tatum lead the SPC in triple jump (36-06.75) and discus (135-06), while Houston Christian's Esohe Asuen owns the high jump lead at 5-04.
One wild card in the sprint hurdles, high jump and pole vault is Greenhill's Katy Goodwin, who has returned from a shattered arm suffered at the Reno Pole Vault Summit in January.