This weekend, the annual Texas A&M High School Indoor Invitational will be held at Gilliam Indoor Stadium in College Station, Texas. Tons of athletes from across the state including athletes from other states will travel to College Station for the first track meet of the year.
Since the end of last track season, club track season, cross country, and even the end football season many athletes have been waiting and training for this weekend. For some, training began as far back as October. Athletes across Texas have running intervals, over distance reps, block work, and even running in the cold over the holiday break. Well, the time is almost here.
Included in that group is Frisco Heritage senior Bailey Lear, "I am very excited to be able to run indoor track this year I've been waiting on it, especially since it is my senior year I wanna go out with a bang and make a big statement." Lear will be one of the top track and field athletes to watch in Texas and in the entire country.
"I plan to break some records and make a statement this year."
Bailey Lear - Frisco Heritage senior
In 2017, Lear opened up at this meet and she competed in the 200m. She elected to skip running the 400m which is her specialty. In fact, she has the meet record with her 2016 run of 55.01.
Last year, she watched as a group of Florida girls came in and swept the top three awards in the 400m. The eventual winner -- Daneisha Woodside a junior out of of Northeast HS in Oakland Park, Florida nearly captured Lear's record. It wasn't as nail biting of an experience for Lear to watch as you might think. "I always wish other athletes the best because records are meant to be broke."
Click here to watch the race.
She will be competing in her specialty this weekend and we could see something special happen. "I will be running the 400m and the 4x400 relay this weekend. I set the record two years ago and can't wait to set a new one this year."
Lear definitely feels like she has the fitness to set a new meet record. "I feel like I am in very good shape, I have been training hard these last couple of weeks and putting my all in to each practice."
In what seems like for ever since Lear will suited up for a meaningful track and field season, that journey will also begin this weekend.
Last season, Lear only ran a couple meets all season long. She ran several meets during indoor season and then was required to run JV during the school season. Lear transferred from McKinney High School where she placed third at the UIL 5A state meet in the 400m as a freshman and second as a sophomore to her current school Frisco Heritage. The UIL did not approve her transfer disqualifying Lear the opportunity to win a state title. All of which was occurring during a very important junior year, which is a key time for college recruiting.
Lear proved that nothing was going to hold her back. She accepted the UIL ruling and did her stint running in the JV ranks. Lear said, "Running JV taught me that I am running against the clock and to push myself even when there is no one to push me."
When the post season came around, Lear reminded everyone still watching that she didn't go anywhere. At the TTFCA Meet of Champions, just one week after the state meet, she came out and ran a PR of 53.02, which was faster than any time at the state meet and one of the fastest times in the country.
Related: Watch Bailey Lear Run US No. 5 400m
In result of that race, she was invited to compete at the Brooks PR Invitational to run against the fastest girls in the country. Lear went from running against the clock in JV meets to running against the best in the US. Lear was unable to challenge for a state title, but that did not keep her from winning a national title as she won the Brooks PR race in 53.32.
"I am very excited to be returning to varsity this year. I plan on doing a lot of meets , it being my senior year I want to try meets all over but I am especially excited for the indoor meet at Texas Tech. There new facility is very nice and I can't wait to run on that track."
With her outstanding post UIL season performances, Lear was able to attract the attention of several of the best college track and field programs in the nation. Overall, she selected the University of Southern California to compete at beginning next Fall.