This weekend there will be a lot of big time national talent heading to Virginia Beach, VA to compete in the VA Showcase. Included in that group of runners will be two of Texas' biggest names in track and field with Brynn Brown and Bailey Goggans both attending.
The VA Showcase will be an action packed and all around track and field spectacle with several high profile events. For Brown and Goggans, the events they'll participate in and record chasing will be the the 3200m for Brown and the 800m and 4x800 relay for Goggans.
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The 2020 UIL 6A Cross Country state champion Brown recently ended her high school cross country career and now she focuses on finishing her high school running days on the track. The season could be huge for the University of North Carolina signee who missed her junior year due to the COVID shutdown. Brown ran one indoor race and one outdoor race last season. Although she only competed twice, she turned in two elite performances.
Last year, at the Texas A&M High School Indoor Classic, Brown ran 10:08.11 in the two mile, which was faster than her 10:09.91 UIL State Meet 3,200m record. Her one outdoor race was a career defining type of race; Brown's 9:58.58 in the 3,200m at the Coppell Relays was the fastest time on record in history before the month of March and she is the 14th fastest All-Time over two-miles. During COVID, Brown ran an unofficial 9:39 in a 3,200m time trial.
This weekend, she will compete in one of the fastest races on a track thus far in her career, especially indoors. The indoor 2 Mile record is 9:38.68 by set in 2013 by Mary Cain.
Wyoming star and University of Arkansas signee Sydney Thorvaldson has been unbeatable over the last 12 months; her last loss came at the 2019 Team Nationals Cross Country Championships where she finished third overall to earn All-American honors. University of Washington signee Julia David-Smith is also an All-American; The Washington high school star is coming off a very good cross country season where she PRed in the 5K with a 17:01. More push in this race will come from New Jersey's Charlotte Bednar, Jenna Mulhern of Pennsylvania, and Florida's Tatum David should help ensure the pace is on record pace.
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Goggans is looking to chase the indoor 800m record, which is a mark of 2:01.78 set in 2017 by Sammy Watson. Goggans also lost a lot of her junior season due to COVID after previously winning the 400m and 800m UIL 5A state titles in 2019.
The Texas A&M University signee will have to drop three seconds off her PR if she wants to take home the new national record. Over the summer, Goggans ran an outdoor PR of 2:04.78 at Saturday Night Lights. She bypassed the cross country season to focus on adding speed back to her training and this weekend's race will be her season debut.
The competition to challenge the record will be as good as she could ask for, especially in these days and times. Joining Goggans in Virginia will be three of the top All-Time girls's 800m runners. Juliette Whittaker of Maryland (No. 3 All-Time - 2:03.01), Wisconsin star Roisin Willis (No. 4 All-Time - 2:03.05), and Sophia Gorriaran (No. 6 All-Time - 2:03.98) from Rhode Island will provide the punch to provide a good run at the record.
After going at in in the open 800m, the athletes will team together to shoot for the indoor World U20 4x800 relay record. The 8:53.67 was set in 2002 by the Boys and Girls (NY) team.
Teaming up with Willis, Whittaker, and Gorriaran; the quartet will need to average splits just over 2:13.00 for an attainable record and definitely in the reach of these four young ladies.
Two Texans and three records. Records or no records, this could be an epic way to start the 2020 track and field season.