TAPPS distance runners pose for a photo at the 2021 TAPPS state meet including Marcelo and Franco Parra
Just when you thought you knew the Texas running scene and were up on who the best runners are - then you realize you don't.
You know the Ben Shearers and the Judson Greers are. You know who all of the top UIL distance runners are and you now know guys like Emmanuel Sgouros from Houston St. John's who have come on this year to establish themselves as top guys in the state and nationally.
All of these guys run at their state meets and of course at the Texas Distance Festival where top national guys go to test their game and become well known.
However, do you know who the Parra twins are? If you don't, here is your introduction. Marcelo Parra and Franco Parra are two young runners who are just getting their start in running, but as freshmen, they are already making a push to become Texas' next best.
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The San Antonio Texas Military Institute (TMI) Episcopal School freshmen have been soccer oriented athlete for most of their lives, but started running a couple of years ago to be in shape for soccer season and were recently introduced to competitive running. They have since taken a liking to the sport and are taking off. At the TAPPS cross country championships last fall where Marcelo (16:05.90) finished second overall in the 5A classification behind Shearer and Franco finished 10th (16:50.20).
On the track, the two continued to progress as they gained training and experience. They were second in third in the 1,600m and 3,200m at the TAPPS state track meet. And the times . . . well, they're very impressive. At theTAPPS 5A South Regional Meet, Franco, ran 9:18.62 in the 3,200m, which is right in line with the top freshmen times ever run in Texas and puts him in the conversation with names like Craig Lutz, Graydon Morris, and Leo Manzano.
Check out our zoom with the Parras as they talk about their running experiences, how they hope to develop, and their races for this weekend's TTFCA Meet of Champions.