WATCH: The 2021 UIL District 5-6 6A Area Championship girls 800m
The conditions for the UIL District 5-6 6A Area Championships were cool and rainy and might not have been thought of as conducive to produce fast times.
Tell that to the 800m competitors who were determined to qualify for next week's Region 1-6A Championships.
Despite the conditions, the race produced one of the fastest girls 800m races in Texas high school track and field history. Heading in, six of the top 25 ranked girls in the state were prepared to compete for only four qualifying spots to reach the next round in regionals.
Prosper junior Aubrey O'Connell entered the race with a TX No. 1 and a US No. 4 time of a 2:08.74, which made her the favorite. But she was coming off the 3,200m earlier in the morning when she ran 10:38.04 for second-place.
Didn't matter. She led the race through the first 400m anyway, coming through in splits of 30 seconds for the 200m and 63 seconds through 400m.
Uncharacteristically for a race at that pace, all eight girls were still in contention. It wasn't until the 500m mark that the race started to open up.
However, no one fell off. There were still five runners with 100m left who had a chance to win, though only four qualifying spots for the regional meet existed.
Coppell sophomore Waverly Hassman (2:09.50) finished third and Denton Guyer senior Brynn Brown -- who won the 3,200m earlier in the day in a TX No. 4 all-time 10:07.09 -- grabbed the last qualifying position in 2:09.60.
She got comfort later, though. The University of Alabama signee would go on to qualify for regionals in the 1,600m, where she ran 4:54.47.
VARSITY GIRLS 800 METER RUN FINALS PLACE ATHLETE TEAM RESULT WIND H# 1 Aubrey O'Connell 11 Prosper 2:08.52 1 2 Nicole Humphries 9 Flower Mound 2:08.97 1 3 Waverly Hassman 10 Coppell 2:09.50 1 4 Brynn Brown 12 Denton Guyer 2:09.60 1 5 Keaton Morrison 12 Lewisville Hebron 2:09.87 1 6 Morgan Colon 12 Coppell 2:15.16 1 7 Emily Kern 11 Prosper 2:16.20 1 8 Bella Evans 11 McKinney Boyd 2:22.30 1
Still, how crazy was that?
Historically, the race and the meet was one of the fastest distance meets in Texas history. All three distance races (800, 1,600m, and 3,200m) produced fast times.
The 1,600m saw a total of five girls run sub 5:00, with a 4:57.65 not qualifying for regionals; the 3,200m race saw the same situation. Brown won in one of the top all-time marks in Texas history. She led five girls under 11:00, and a 10:45.84 did not qualify to the regional meet -- to put that into perspective, Alison Buemi's time might not have gotten her into regionals, but it did give her a top 50 performance nationally, at No. 45 overall.
As for the 800m, it was the third-fastest race in Texas history for eight runners and the fastest non-state meet race.
The race produced a 2:12.51 average, which is behind only the 2001 UIL 5A State Championships (2:12.26 avg.) and the 2005 UIL 5A State Championships (2:12.47 avg.).
It was the second fastest race in state history through five runners with a 2:09.29 average.
The Texas UIL state meet qualifying rounds is one of the toughest in the nation for all events and all athletes involved. With the UIL state meet set for May 6-8, the state's top time of 2:08.52 should be in jeopardy.
Check out the breakdown of the fastest 800m races in Texas history.
2001 Conference 5A 1. Sullivan, Mindy, Lubbock Coronado, 2:08.38; 2. Cordell, Kelly, Houston Memorial, 2:08.48; 3. Moser, Holly, Lewisville, 2:09.51; 4. Young, Natalie, San Antonio O'Connor, 2:10.80; 5. Malone, Justina, Mesquite North Mesquite, 2:11.84; 6. Radermacher, Megan, Klein, 2:12.14;
7. Walker, Brandy, Friendswood Clear Brook, 2:13.70; 8. West, Karla, Corpus Christi King, 2:23.23
|2001 UIL 5A State Meet||2005 UIL 5A State Meet||2021 5-6 6A Area|
|1. Mindy Sullivan - 2:08.38||1. Julia Heymach - 2:07.86||1. Aubrey O'Connell - 2:08.52|
|2. Kelly Cordell - 2:08.48||2. Megan Rourke - 2:08.48||2. Nicole Humphries - 2:08.97|
|3. Holly Moser - 2:09.51||3. Isabel Van Camp - 2:10.25||3.Waverly Hassman - 2:09.50|
|4. Natalie Young - 2:10.80||4. Jennelle Jaeer-Daraky - 2:13.21||4. Brynn Brown - 2:09.60|
|5. Justina Malone - 2:11.84||5. Wonders Oguekofor - 2:13.40||5. Keaton Morrison - 2:09.87|
|6. Megan Radermacher - 2:12.14||6 .Emerald Jacobe - 2:14.88||6. Morgan Colon - 2:15.16|
|7. Brandy Walker - 2:13.70||7. Sarah Wuest - 2:17.32||7. Emily Kern - 2:16.20|
|8. Karla West - 2:23.23||8. Liah Collins - 2:19.13||8. Bella Evans - 2:22.30|
|5 girl Average -2:08.80 - #1||5 girl average - 2:10.64 - #3||5 girl average - 2:09.29 - #2|
|6 girl average - 2:10.19 - #1||6 girl average - 2:11.27 - #3||6 girl average - 2:10.27 - #2|
|7 girl average - 2:10.69 - #1||7 girls average - 2:11.78 - #3||7 girl average - 2:11.12 - #2|
|8 girl average - 2:12.26 - #1||8 girl average - 2:12.47 - #2||8 girl average - 2:12.51 - #3|