South Austin Steel won the girls 4x800 relay
Each year brings new sets of circumstances and story lines for the upcoming season. This weekend, the 2018 indoor track season kicked off and it was as exciting as usual.
Read below to see a few things we learned this weekend from the Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic.
Indoor season is still ruled by clubs
Indoor season in Texas really isn't a season -- YET! However, the indoor meets are dominated by unattached runners and club teams. More and more schools are training and running the indoor meets, for example Southlake Carroll boys and girls have been successfully hitting the track during indoor season for many years. Fort Bend Marshall does it and keeps getting better and better. Marshall set the Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic boys 4x400 relay record of 3:16.20 last year. Strake Jesuit took second in the same event this season with one of the most entertaining races of the meet running a fantastic 3:17.41.
However, many of the athletes and teams are unattached and club team entries. The Wings Track Club had many athletes littered in events all weekend. They even won both relays on the boys side and set the 4x800 relay record for the second straight year. The South Austin Steel girls broke the girls 4x800 relay record that was previously set last year by Track Houston. In the girls sprints, Destined2Run (D2R) and North Texas Cheetahs (NTX Elite) were pretty dominant including a very entertaining 4x400 relay race.
Boys hurdles In Texas will be quite a show
This just in, Eric Edwards is an outstanding hurdler! Edwards is a Pan American Games gold medalist and now he is a high school senior he wasted no time becoming the meet record holder in the 60H at Texas A&M. This is destined to be an outstanding seson for him, but he will have additional company in the hurdles. Noah Green is an elite level hurdler and it has been expected that he and Edwards will have some outstanding battles this year.
Battle #1 started this weekend and it is evidence 2018 will be full of hurdles.
But hold up, Mr. Robert Teer Jr. of Arlington Seguin is looking to join the party. This weekend, he showed that he has the talent to hurdle with some of the best as he took second in the 60H race. Not only did he split up the dynamic pair of Edwards and Green, but he also broke the 8:00 barrier. Teer Jr. is not new to big races, but he is now becoming one of the top finihsers in those races.
The Piperi Family still owns the shot put rings of Texas
Adrian Piperi has owned the shot put in Texas for at least the last three years. Not only did he own Texas, but he was one of the best in the nation for that time. Piperi graduated and is now a freshman at the University of Texas. There is still a Piperi at The Woodlands and he is keeping the family relevant in the shot put. Patrick Piperi had a great sophomore season that ended with him qualifying for the state meet with his brother and he is riding that momentum and an off season of hard work to an outstanding 2018 start. Patrick Piperi just made it four consecutive Texas A&M shot put wins for the Piperi family with his 61-6.75 PR. The thing to watch next year is if he can make it five straight Piperi wins and if he can take down his brother's 72-2.5 meet record.
Cross Country kids transitioning well to the track
They just finished cross season. They need a break. Indoor season is too soon for cross country kids to run. That's what has been said about cross kids running indoors. Well, programs like Southlake Carroll and Luling have been doing it for years and it's hard to argue with the success they've had as programs and their kids individual performances.
The results from this weekend show that cross country kids are transitioning well and running fast. For example, in the 2 mile run, there were 13 boys who ran under 10:00 with winner Ethan Hageman running 9:34.93. On the girls side, there were six girls who under 12:00 in the full 2 mile including winner Libby McGrath's 10:56.42.
Freshman girls will make their presence felt this season
If this weekend is any indication of what the season is going to be like, then it is clear the youth movement is moving in.
San Antonio Home School Spartans freshman Libby McGrath had an outstanding weekend. She won the 2 mile with a fast 10:56.42 and took second in the 1 mile with a 5:11.82. McGrath is fresh off her freshman cross country season where she had an amazing rookie year and she is still rolling.
Marble Falls freshman Bailey Goggans immediately introduced herself to us in the 400m prelims when she ran the third fastest time of the prelims with her 57.54. She followed that up with a 56.99 in the finals.
It was no secret JaEra Griffin from NTC Elite was going to make a statement when she enrolled in high school and she did not let down. Griffin rolled through the prelims when she ran 7.77 in the 60m prelims and 25.04 in the 200m. Griffin followed up with a 7.75 in the 60m finals for fifth and 24.88 in the 200m finals for fifth.
If you haven't been paying attention the pole vault is booming and has been for a while. Last year, big time boys pole vaulters like Riley Richards, Peyton Weissmann, and Grahm Gonzalez tore it up and did so for several years.
However, it didn't start with them, the pole vault has been full of excitement for some time now. We can reflect as far back as 2006 in the days of Brittany Parker from McKinney when she was vaulting in the 13s coming towards today when Annie Rhodes from Waco Midway almost went 14-0 with her 13-11.5 and Megan Gray from Buda Hays vaulted 13-5.5. Not to be outdone by the girls, the days when Jacob Wooten, Brandon Bray, and Paulo Benavides were jumping through the sky over 17 feet above the earth on the regular was common across the state of Texas.
The pole vault is the most exciting event in track and field and Texas is getting better and better thanks to the coaches and athletes in Texas.
This weekend, Olivia Buntin showed that she is ready to have a great year. She is off to a great start to her 2018 with her 12-1.25 best vault this weekend. The competition behind her was also stiff and plentiful as four girls jumped 11-7.25.
If you haven't peeked over to the pole vault pit, then I challenge you get a look at the pole vault action.