With a full docket of races over three days, you might not know what to keep an eye out for at the UIL state meet.
Well, here some athletes and events you will want to watch out for at this weekend's UIL Track and Field State championships.
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Girls 800m Frenzy
It's no secret the girl's 800m will probably be the best event at this year's meet. The volume of elite performances out number any other event this year and is on an historic level right now.
The 5A and 6A classes provide most of the elite performances. There are only two entries over 2:11.03 coming out of the the 6A regional meets. That makes seven girls who could run under 2:10 in one race (one being a freshman Nicole Humphries - Flower Mound (TX No.1 - 2:08.30); that would be epic and a must see.
The 5A girls also bring in some elite times with four girls entering with regional times of 2:11.83 and faster. Boerne Champion junior Anastacia 'Chachi' Gonzales enters with the top seed of 2:09.45 followed by two freshmen in Isabel Conde De Frankenberg (2:10.06) and Kailey Littlefield (2:10.78) right behind her.
Can They Repeat?
How will some of the team champions from 2019 fare this weekend?
The DeSoto girls have dominated the track and field team scene over the last several years. The Fort Bend Marshall Boys are also on a state championship roll and the Canyon girls can't be left out of this conversation either.
All three teams would have had high percentages of repeating as the team state championships last year, but the pandemic damaged those chances. Can they pull it out this year?
DeSoto once again looks strong, but they have plenty of company with other teams looking to take them down and there are real chances someone could do it. DeSoto will have to fend off a strong San Antonio Reagan team that has big point earning potential with individuals and relays. Add in Flower Mound, Plano East, Katy Seven Lakes, Bridgeland, and Katy Cinco Ranch with an outside shot and this could be the most challenging state meet for DeSoto in some time.
Fort Bend Marshall seemed to have found ways to pull out state titles for several years in 5A. Last year looked like it was going to be as smooth of a trip to the top of the podium as ever. This year will be very different. They have the hurdlers and relays to gain points, but the individual sprints and field event qualifiers won't bring them the important piece points they're used to.
And as far as the relays go . . . the lane drawings don't favor them at all and neither does an unexplainable non-flag on a baton drop in the Region 3-5A 4x400 relay finals that didn't allow them to get the squad through.
The Canyon girls also won a2019 team title in dominant fashion and they looked likely to repeat as 4A winners last season. They look good once again, the pressure is turning up.
They will have to fend off Liberty-Eylau who is usually a top team contender in 4A and their relay line-ups are stout as usual; everyone better keep an eye on Kennedale as they have enough entries to rack up enough points to win it all.
How Fast Will Brynn Brown Need To Go?
At the 2019 UIL 6A State Championships, Brynn Brown had a very successful day. She looks to replicate that by repeating in both the 1,600m and 3,200m on Saturday.
Brown set the UIL 3,200m record in 2019 with her 10:09.81. So far this season, she has already gone 9:59.17 and 10:07.09 over the last two qualifying rounds. That was with having the 800m in her workload, which she will not have to do this weekend. We could see her really lower her record.
What will it take to win the 1,600m? Brown won it in 2019 with a 4:48.37 and she wants break the record to go along with the 3,200m. A record breaking performance, which would have to top the 4:40.97, set in 2015 by Julia Heymach might be what it takes to get the win. She'll have Katy Cinco Ranch teammates Sophie Atkinson (4:46.43) and Heidi Nielson (4:47.07) who have better seed times from regionals to fend off. Atkinson was runner-up to Brown at the 2020 cross country championships and Nielson took Brown to the line in this event back in 2019. It could take a sharp and rested Brown to take the win; her 2:09.60 800m tested leg speed will do well in assisting her to do so.
Atascocita Boys Workload And Potential Record Weekend
Patterson will have one of the heaviest workloads this weekend; he will compete in four individual events as well as the 4x400 relay. Regional performances of 13.83 (110H), 38.01 (300H), 24-8 (LJ), and 51-2.25 (TJ) make him one of the best athletes we may get to see this weekend.
Patterson could potentially be in the mix for four individual championships and he has also made public that he wants to break the state record in the triple jump of 51-11.75 set by Jaimoy Bryant of Jasper in 2002.
McCalla will also be busy with the relay to go a long with two individual races of his own. His regional performances definitely turned heads when he ran 10.20 (w) and then backed it up with a 20.94.
He will need to have BIG races to take down state records of 10.13 set by Houston Strake Jesuit's Matthew Boling in 2019 and 20.24 by Dallas Roosevelt's Roy Martin in 1985. McCalla, at the least, will have going for as many points as possible to help the team as a motivating factor.
Can Foster Wilfong Go Sub 9:00?
Boerne Champion senior distance runner Foster Wilfong will be attempting the 1600m/3200m double tis weekend and the biggest accomplishment he might be able to muster could be breaking 9:00 in the 3,200m.
Wilfong has been rocking it all season long and his 9:09.68 from the Region 4-6A meet is the top seed. A near 10 second drop is a big difference, but it could be that Wilfong is just getting started.
Pole Vault Records Are In Jeopardy
The girl's pole vault state record is 13-9 by Desiree Freier of Northwest and it's likely going down. Lueking has gone 14-3 a couple of times this year and the Clear Creek senior. She also qualified for state in the 300h with her 43.25 and will be looking to make the biggest impact in her last high school meet..
Meacham is already a state and national champion and although his season's best is only 16-8 he is just now finding his rhythm following basketball season. Topping the 18-3.25 by Branson Ellis, of Tyler Legacy (formerly Lee) is going to quite the challenge, but there are reports that his hip height from regionals is right where it needs to be.
Kennedy Wade Could Challenge the 400m State Record
Clear Falls senior Kennedy Wade could be in for quite a weekend. She will give her first efforts of the weekend in the epic 800m showdown and the thought of how will it affect her energy systems for the 400m is only natural.
Looking back at the regional meet results, Wade will be just fine. She could challenge the nine year old 52.40 state record by Courtney Okolo of Carrollton Smith. Her 52.77 at regionals tells it all, so there will be a record attempt to watch when she hits the track.
Joshua English Might Break 1:50
He will have plenty of competition and several runners in tow through the first lap for his torrid usual pace. English already has a 1:50 performance on the books and this field is capable of going 1:49 or faster to keep his undefeated streak alive.
Girls Sprint Events Outlook
The girl's 100m and 200m events will once again be very good. There are a lot of wind aided times floating out there, but there is no doubt the best are coming to Austin.
The 6A races will have Jasmine Montgomery who has been fast and consistent all season long and will be the one to beat. She'll get to face her best competition yet and that could result in some fast times.
Her push will be from the entire field but Camryn Dickson and Ja'Era Griffin are in the middle of the track with her in the 100m. There will be low 11s will be dropped on Saturday.
Throws Showdown Between Bryce Foster Jacob Tracy Showdown
Tracy started the season out on fire throwing 64-9 in the shot put and 193 in the discus. Foster is streaking late in the season and heads into state on a roll. Throughout the championship season rounds, he has tosses of 71-1 in the shot and 210-10 in the discus.
6A Boys Distance Events
Who knows what kind of races we will see this weekend. They could be strategic or they could be all out hard pace type of races.
The first of the two distance races will be the 3,200m. From the regional races, we saw some of the best running in a long time. The Region 1-6A boys ran a heck of a race and we saw Alfredo Reina Corona and Israel David really look good with their second half running in Arlington.
The latter of the two races will see if Anthony Gregory of Strake Jesuit can continue his outstanding racing. Gregory has been impressive all season long as has his teammate Reese Vannerson; the two will be fresher than most of the field and that could be beneficial.
The outlier of both races will be how strong of a pace can the field set to take the kick away from Luke Lambert. His is the cross country champion and he used a fierce kick over the last 1K to pull out the win back in November. Conveniently, he kicked in both races at Region 2-6A to qualify. No lead is safe with Lambert in the race.
6A Boys Sprints
He comes in with regional performances of 10.20 and 20.46; but he will have plenty of company. In the 100m, the entire field will have a chance to medal, but keep an eye on Harlingen's Jose Garcia and Atascocita's Trevion McCalla.
In the 200m, it'll be the same crop of guys, but Michael Sturdivant and Jelani Watkins could spoil everything. They're both football first guys, but they can flat out run. Sturdivant looks stronger in the longer race and Watkins topped Washington in the regional preliminary race, so there is a chance.