The Year in Review - Story #1: The Wind
Records are meant to be broken.
You can't control the weather.
Two adages many were disheartened by at this year's UIL State Meet.
In what is arguably the nation's top high school state meet, speed in abundance never disappoints. Raw, natural speed, poetic in its grace, brings the raucous crowd to its feet, celebrating the athletic prowess of a rare accomplishment: a state classification record. Unfortunately, when controllable speed meets uncontrollable wind, the mix is often a punch to the gut, deflating an entire crowd like a fizzled birthday balloon.
Let's start with the crown jewel of records that aren't, Jasmine Moore's monster 45-04.75 triple jump. The current 5A record stands at 43-04.75 by Moore (2017), and the overall UIL mark stands at 44-02.25, set in 2001 by Texas Track & Field Hall of Famer Ychlindria Spears of Luling. Moore's jump would have soared past the all-time US #1 wind-legal mark set in 2004 by California's Brittany Daniels - 44-11.75. But with a 3.8 wind helping propel her, Moore must wait another year in hopes of more suitable weather conditions. If there's any consolation, Moore's jump is third-best all conditions in US high school history, once again, trailing Daniels who owns the top two marks (45-07.50 and 45-05.50.)
Sha'Carri Richardson of Dallas Carter, an LSU signee, owns the 4A 100-meter dash record at 11.28. She set this in 2017 on her way to the 100 / 200 double and a team title, something she'd repeat in 2018. In 2018, she sped down the straightaway in a blazing 11.12, the nation's fastest FAT recording; unfortunately, she was aided by a 3.6 wind. As for all-weather conditions, according to Track & Field News, Richardson's 11.12 places her in the top 11 all time.
Sha'Carri Richardson by Inside Texas Track's RoJo
Richardson's 200 time of 23.02 was also boosted by a 3.6 wind, so Reagan Padgett's (Sour Lake Hardin-Jefferson) 23.14 time will remain.
Leonard's Kelcie Simmons, a Duke signee, broke the 3A 100-meter dash time of 11.62 set by Hamlin's Tiffany Green in 2000. However, a 3.7 wind will keep the record with Green's name for at least another season.
Four more girl's records were momentarily broken, only to be quickly restored by wind gage readings. Sydney Ritter of 1A Groom long jumped 18-03.75 to launch herself past Claudia Escamilla's (Morgan) 17-04.75 in 2013. Kenzie Jordan of 1A Water Valley sprinted 25.27 to claim the 200-meter mark from Burkeville's Keyunce Price (25.78; 2017.) Ritter's wind reading: 4.3; Jordan's = 4.1.
Chimika Carter of Groesbeck set the 4A 100 hurdles mark in 1996 - 14.04. In 2018, Ally Henson of Houston Yates ran 14.00 to claim the throne; a barely illegal 2.1 wind keeps her from the title. Alvin's Kynnedy Flannel, a University of Texas signee, broke one of UIL's older records, La Shon Nedd's 23.04 200-meter time set in 1981. Lo and behold, the Dallas Skyline product's name will remain, as Flannel ran with a 3.4 wind.
The prime time among the boys is Silsbee's Kalon Barne's 10.04 100 meters. While it stands as the #1 FAT time in 2018, the wind registered 3.2, which places it fifth all-time under any conditions and leaves his 10.22 (2017) as the 4A UIL standard.
Kalon Barnes (3179) by Inside Texas Track's RoJo
Chase Thompson of 1A Rule ran a 100-meter-tying 10.88, only to leave Oscar Mathis of Paducah as the sole name atop the record board because of a 3.1 wind, and Cale Kassen of Valley View ran a 13.91 110H, shaving nearly a quarter of a second off the 14.14 time of Tyson McKinney (Spur) set in 2000. A 2.2 wind negates his name in the record books.
Understandably, Twitter threads expressed anger and confusion as to why UIL was ripping off athletes of their well-deserved records, but the wind, sometimes barely illegal, still exceeded the industry standard of 2.0. And therein lies the point: when the wind exceeds 2.0, the record blows away, but the unbelievable memories do not.