Ian Gilmore runs the 400m at the AAU Southwestern District Qualifier
This weekend, the USATF Region XII meet was in Humble, Texas. Athletes, coaches, and fans braved the heat and humidity that only Texas summers can bring.
However, on Saturday, the athletes in the 400m final rewarded them all by bringing some heat of their own. This heat was welcoming as the 15-18 year boys and girls entertained the crowd with their performances.
In the 15-16 year old girls race, we saw two of the state and nation's best young 400m runners go head to head. BAILEY LEAR and ROSALINE EFFIONG have the #1 and #5 times in the state of Texas with them both having 53.x personal bests. In this race, Lear won over Effiong by a slim margin of 53.78 to 54.08. In just a few weeks, these two will get to go at it again at the USATF Junior Olympics.
Staying with the 15-16 year olds, the boys took the action from the girls and raised things up a notch. In the boys race, IAN GILMORE felt the day was right for a PR. Gilmore, coming off of a recent 48.11 PR at the Gulf Association meet decided to amp things up a little bit and ran a personal best 47.86 to take the title in his age group. Behind him, SEBASTIAN COOPER who had also recently PRed with 48.84 wanted more as well. Cooper lowered his personal best to 48.64 in this race. Since the PR mood was going around, GENSON HOOPER PRICE got in the act dropping a 48.91 PR to keep the PR party going in full swing.
With the 17-18 girls, the PR fever was still carrying over from the 15-16 year old boys. This time it was PAYGE SIDE getting in on the act. Side came in with a 56.56 PR from the Southwestern Association championships. Well, she busted a big time performance with a 55.04 run that earned her the Region XII title. KENNEDY BLACKMON took second with a strong 55.63 performance that was a little bit off her 55.12 personal best, but still a solid performance.
In the boys 17-18, two of Texas' top quarter milers went at it. GLENN BENDER decided to keep the PR performances going with his 400m win. Bender who previously had a 47.45 personal best PRed in this race with a 47.22 for the win. Right behind Bender was teammate LAKYRON MAYS. Mays took second with a solid time of 47.63, which was just behind his 47.36 PR.