There was once a time where the top marks in Texas high school track and field were outstanding. You could easily see times that were so fast and distances and heights were that were so far and high that Texas was regarded as one of the best track and field states in the country.
Since the years of that golden era, Texas still managed to produce many national top marks to continue to be known as one of the best and most fertile areas of track and field talent. However, things have begun to remind of those good old days.
In the sprint events, 10.2 and 10.3 times used to be frequent chart topping type of marks as well as 21 low in the 200m and 47.x 400 meter times were frequent.
In the old eras of track and field, the distance events were also impressive. To see 1600m and 3200m times in the 4:15 and 9:30 areas were common place. Standard levels haven't always been maintained in seasons passed.
Recently, things have started to change and the times in many events have began to get faster and faster across the board.
Athletes in the sprint events are turning out some outstanding marks. The wind legal 10.2 and 10.3 100m times have already piled up as have the 21 low and sub 21.0 200m times.
Houston Strake Jesuit senior Matthew Boling has a couple of 10.2 100m times including a wind legal US leading 10.22. Behind him, Stafford senior Ryan Martin has produced a wind legal US #4 10.37 performance. While Texas has had some 10.2 and 10.3 performances of recent, these are two of the fastest times to be produced this early in the season, with possibly more to come this season.
The 200m races have also been impressive. Again, Boling has the top time nationally with his 20.58, but he is not alone this year. Fort Bend Marshall junior Devon Achane recently dropped a wind legal 20.91 to join Boling in the sub 21.0 club. Houston Wheatley senior Robert Gregory (21.02), Dallas Bishop Dunne senior Cameron Anthony Miller (21.06), and Shadow Creek senior Ashton O'Conner (21.20) all have superb 21 low 200m races and we could see them upgrade to the sub 21 mark in the next coming weeks.
For the girls, there are already four sub 24 second times. Kenondra Davis, the 2018 UIL 4A 100m and 200m state champ from Fort Worth Trimble Tech leads the girls with her 23.61 and she is followed by McKinney North senior Brooke Givens (23.72), Fort Bend Bush junior Laila Owens (23.79), and Garland Lakeview senior Mariah Ayers.
The distance events are also experiencing a throwback season. The girls 1600m had 13 performers on the season who had already run sub 5:00 heading into district weeks. That is an high and outstanding amount at this time of the season, but there is a chance that number grows as districts continue and when area meets come up.
The astonishing thing about this group of girls is the potential of sustainability in upcoming years. This trend could continue as six of the 13 girls are either freshmen or sophomores.
The impressive distance running continues with the girls 3200m. There are 19 girls who have run 11:00 and under including nine girls in the 10:30s and under.
The boys distances have been just as impressive. There are 36 Texas boys who have run 4:20 and under this season. Ten of those are 4:16s and under.
The boys 3200m in 2019 is out of sight, just to crack the top 100, you had to run 9:42.54. With 23 runners at 9:20 and under and the tenth fastest at 9:13.00, the season is almost at the end, but it's just getting started for the Texas distance guys. This era is definitely on fire.
The Texas boys sprint relays have been on an unprecedented pace for the last two seasons. This 2019 season has continued that trend. With only two sub 40 second high school teams in US history, that amount has more than doubles in the last two seasons.
This season is well on to being the third consecutive sub 40 seasons for the Texas boys in the 4x100 relay. There are nine 40.x thus far on the season including a 40.15 by Fort Bend Marshall last week. The average amount of sub 41 4x100 relays have more than doubled in the last three seasons compared to the rest of the decade.
With the times from the shortest race to the longest race all seeing increased improvements in 2019 and in the last couple of years. There is no doubt that the state of Texas high school track and field is doing really well. It's hard to say whether it is resembling past eras or entering an era of its own, but one thing for sure is that the sport is on fire in Texas!