The boys and Girls 4x100 Relays are heating up.
What may not be top heavy talent....YET, is surely currently a lot quality and depth.
Perhaps, it has been the combination of ideal sprinting weather conditions and the best of the best competition going head to head that has enabled the regional and state meets to produce such fast times. With those meets coming up and a few more weeks to perfect handoffs and increase speed, 2018 potential is high.
This season has already produced eleven teams that are under 41.00. That doesn't even include the Lancaster boys who have also hit 40.99 this year.
Then there is also Killeen Ellison at 41.00 and six teams 41.19 and under, many of which who have advanced to run at regionals and beyond.
If you look at the last five years, you can see that this year is starting to stack up pretty well so far if, not ahead of schedule.
At the end of the last two years, the season average for the top ten times were 40.35 in 2017 and 40.55 in 2016. So far, the 2018 top ten average is a little behind at 40.74. However, the times and average will surely get faster with the regional and state meets still to come.
The 2017 season will be remembered for some time for it's outrageous times. Port Arthur Memorial ran the second fastest time ever in Texas and in the nation for a high school team with their 39.80. The speed didn't just stop there. Eight of the fastest ten times in the nation were produced at last year's state championships including Manvel's #10 All-Time 40.08, making them the sixth fastest team ever. A total of 18 Texas teams ran under 41.00 last year.
Taking away the 2017 40.35 average for the top ten teams, 2018's 40.74 average isn't too far off of the averages for 2016 (40.55), 2015 (40.66), and 2014 (40.71).
The 4x100 relay has gradually been faster for each of the last several years. In 2014, the 50th fastest time in the state was 41.85. It dropped to 41.75 the next year and 41.72 the year after that. The 50th fastest time in 2017 stayed with the theme of that season and was of course faster as it checked in at 41.58.
So far, this season, #50 checks in with a 41.76 and with two meets left, the trend could continue to get faster.
The girls 2018 4x100 season is also going well and has a lot of potential.
With two more championship weekends to go, the season average for the top ten teams is 46.12. DeSoto and Duncanville have already run 45s this season. They've even gone back and forth alternating wins this season. McKinney North has also dropped a 46.08 and you can expect them to get even faster.
The season average on the top ten teams for 2018 is already ahead of the 2015 mark (46.13). However, it is currently significantly behind 2016 and 2017, which were both very fast seasons.
Regional match ups will put DeSoto, Duncanville, Skyline, and Marcus all together fighting for two automatic qualifying spots. We will also see McKinney North and Mansfield Lake Ridge do battle. Hightower, Summer Creek, and Cy-Springs will get at it at their regional meet as they will battle each other and more regional competitions fighting for the two qualifying spots.
Match ups like these give optimism for 2018 to get even faster this weekend before state even gets here. 2018 has the potential to match last year's outstanding 4x100 season.
The 2016 season had five teams under 46.0. DeSoto led that season with a 45.10 for the 17th fastest All-Time mark. They led the top ten to a 45.81 season average.
Last year was even faster! the 2017 season had a 45.49 average for the top ten teams. That was assisted by a Mesquite Horn 44.94, Cy-Springs 45.07, and McKinney North's 45.09. Those times were all good enough to crack the All-Time list checking in at #10, #13, and #15.
The entire top 14 teams last year all ran under 46.0 and faster making it one of the fastest year in the state of Texas ever.
How fast will this year be?
Will the boys teams like Port Arthur, Converse Judson,The Woodlands, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, and Ft. Bend Marshall continue their several seasons of fast running?
Has Seven Lakes, Killeen Ellison, Lake Ridge, Bishop Dunne, and John Tyler shown us all they have or do they have the capability to drop faster times?
Will the girls heavy hitters like DeSoto, Duncanville, McKinney North, Cy Springs, and Lake Ridge lower their times as low as they like to go?
Is Skyline and Hightower back?
Can Eisenhower, Marcus, and Summer Creek be elite?
There are a lot of questions and many teams to watch, but just a few weeks left for SPC, TAPPS, and UIL 4x100 teams, there is a lot of optimism for the rest of the season as the potential for another FAST ending could be ahead.
Stay tuned to see how fast this season ends up.