Pierre Gorree (L) and Fort Bend Marshall girls (R) were impressie in the Area Championships
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A few years ago, the Area Championships were implemented adding another championship round to the quest for a UIL track and field championship.
Nestled in between the district and regional meets, it makes three rounds to navigate a route to the state championships and four when adding the state meet.
Depending on your viewpoint, it could be a positive thing for the opportunity to compete once again and perfect some things and then there is the opinion of having another obstacle and and unnecessary possibility for elimination.
The UIL Area Championship rounds were this week and some situations that cover both sides of the coin occurred. We have 10 surprises to bring to your attention. Keep in mind, some of these are positive situations allowed some to move on to the regional rounds and some were unfortunately eliminating factors for others, but nonetheless still a part of the championship season track and field season.
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Pierre Goree And Tsegaya Fazarro Continue to Blaze in 100m
Last week, in the district championships, Pierre Goree (Duncanville) and Tsegaya Fazarro (Allen) dropped some eye opening 100m performances; both Goree and Fazarro both ran 10.10 at separate Dallas area track meets. Their runs were at the district meets that did not have wind gauges and it is unclear to if they were wind legal as well as if they weren't; they are listed as no wind indicator (NWI) races.
Goree continued his dominance as he ran 10.09 at the area championships in Waco and Fazarro did the same with 10.11 and 21.44 in McKinney on Thursday. Again, both results will end up NWI with the absence of wind gauges making them ineligible for the record books.
The regional meets should have wind gauges, so when they continue to provide jaw dropping times, we'll know if they'll be able to go down in history.
What is known for sure is that the two Dallas area sprint stars are still on a route to collide at the UIL 6A State Track and Field Championships in just over two weeks.
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Flower Mound Distance Girls Continue To Roll Through Rounds
Districts 5-6A and 6-6A are two of the toughest distance districts in the state of Texas. One of those reasons is the strong running of Flower Mound, but also the competition level of the rest of the teams in the two districts.
In the 800m, 2:13.95 was the qualifying cut-off, it was 5:02.23 in the 1,600m, and 10:50.69 in the 3,200m. Those times are more comparative to fourth place at the state meet rather than at an area championship.
As impressive as that is, what is even more spectacular is how the Flower Mound distance girls raced continually moving on to regionals with eight qualifying spots.
They swept both the 1,600m and 3,200m top three positions and had two qualifiers in the 800m. Add that with the host of field events, hurdlers, and relays, they they could have an impact on the Region 1-6A Championships.
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Shadow Creek Boys Drop Baton In 4x200 Relay
This is going to count as one of the not-so-positive outcome of the Area Championship rounds.
Shadow Creek has been one of the fastest and most impressive teams in the state all season long. In the 4x200 relay, they have run multiple sub 1:26 races this year, including their 1:24.68 runner-up finish at the Texas Relays. Friday, they dropped the baton in their area meet damaging their chances of advancing to regionals. The winning time of the meet was 1:26.67 and the fourth and final spot was 1:29.06, both times well within their wheelhouse of ability.
With plenty of sprinters in their camp, Shadow Creek still qualified for the next round in the 100m, 200m, and the two other relays.
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Katy Seven Lakes Doesn't Advance In Neither The 4x100 Relay Nor The 4x200 Relay
There is no doubt Katy Seven Lakes is one of the best track and field teams in the state. They are loaded with talent up and down their roster that covers just about all disciplines of the sport. They also have elite talent that is capable of winning the UIL 6A state meet.
Their relays was a big part of what could land them at the top of the awards podium in Austin. They still have a good chance of doing so, but it will have to be without their relays.
Seven Lakes did not load up their 4x400 relay that won the state title last year and it didn't make it out of their tough district. That makes their 4x100 relay and 4x200 relay not advancing to regionals even more of a loss.
That's right, the TX No. 1 ranked team in both events (45.71 and 1:35.81) did not qualify to the Region 3-6A Championships. The two events likely would have added 20 point to their state meet team total, making it hard for them to be beaten in Austin.
Now, they'll have to rely on their individual events to get enough points and that is still a big possibility as the team is loaded with not just sprinters, but jumpers, vaulters, throwers, hudlers, and distance runners advancing to regionals and hopes to getting them to Austin.
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Taylen Wise And Skyler Schuller Continue Iron Woman Like Championship Season Treks
Texas is filled with talented athletes and this championship track season is shining a spotlight on two of the best we have.
Taylen Wise (San Antonio Reagan) shined at the district level last weekend and she doubled down on it at the area meet. Wise qualified for the stat meet last year in the relays and in the triple jump and the 300H. That seems like light work compared to her work load this year. This week, Wise punched her ticket to regionals with three individual wins and relay duties.
She won the long jump with a 19-5.25 , triple jump in 40-6.75, and the 300H with a time of 42.89. Each of the performances are impressive in their own rights, but considering they were all done in one meet is even more grand.
Skyler Schuller of Coppell was even busier at her area championships where she qualified in five individual events. She started her day off with a 5-7 performance in the high jump and then moved onto the long jump and pole vault where she showed her combination of speed, strength and athleticism by jumping 19-4 and vaulting 13-6. Schuller then ended her day on the track placing second in the 100H in 14.40, and finally third in the 300H in 44.38.
Schuller could place well in all five events with high percentages of advancing to state in them all where she could encounter fellow superb athlete Wise in two of their events (long jump and 300H).
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Emma Sralla Throws TX No. 2 All-Time In Discus
Emma Sralla (Lewisville Marcus) has some big time plans for her senior season and they're so high that her 185-0 throw in the discus at her area meet didn't even register that she had thrown the second best distance of all-time for a Texas girl. She is now nestled behind Shelbi Vaughan of Mansfield Legacy in 2012 with her 198-09 and Zada Swoopes of Whitewright and her 175-01 in 2017.
Sralla wants to compete in the U20 World Championships, but the state meet will be first and where she could continue her outstanding throwing. Being No. 2 all-time heading into regionals could bring out more confidence in the next few weeks.
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Fort Bend Marshall Wins All Six Relays
The Fort Bend Marshall track and field program has been in a good place since the school opened in the early 2000s. This weekend proved they are as strong as ever and the momentum is like a snowball rolling down hill.
Marshall qualified a host of individual girls and boys to the Region 3-5A Championships next week, but what is very important is how they qualified their relays.
The Lady Buffalos swept the sprint relays by winning the 4x100 relay in 46.75, the 4x200 relay in 1:40.76, and the 4x400 relay in 3:56.81. Their times were telling of how well things are going for them, but so was considering the large margin of victory they had in each race. They won the 4x100 relay by three seconds and the other two by nearly five seconds each.
The Marshall boys were also business like at area. They won the 4x100 relay with a emphatic 40.35, followed by the 4x200 relay in 1:24.59, and he 4x400 relay in 3:15.63.
By sweeping all six relay races at the Area Championships, there should be a Buffalos crossing warning at the track meet at Region 3-5A.
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Natalie Cook Impressive Despite Windy Conditions
Let's just be real, Flower Mound senior Natalie Cook is just waiting to erupt like an active volcano. Every time she has competed this year she has run fast. Recently, those outstanding runs have come without prime conditions.
At her district meet, she ran 4:45.31 in the 1,600m and 10:07.31 in the 3,200m, both top 10 times all-time in Texas. Thursday, she had an impressive follow up running the fastest time ever in 3,200m by a Texas girl with her 9:52.45. She then ran 4:45.86 in the 1,600m for the second consecutive week.
Cook ran these times with some serious headwinds on the backstretch. The same type of winds at the meet helped produce a 10.10 in the 100m; despite that she still managed to run an all-time performance and a second consecutive top 10 performance in the 1,600m. Cook won both races this week by large margins as the rest of the field decided not to challenge her pace, but rather to strategically run for qualifying places.
What we are seeing form Cook is rare as what she has proven to be capable of doing isn't often seen. If the conditions ever become conducive to running fast, we could see her continue her reign on the record books.
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Christine Mallard Making A Big Comeback
Mansfield Legacy senior Christine Mallard began the season by running very fast during the indoor season. Since then, she has gone radio silent. . . .that is until recently. Mallard is back to running some of the best times of the season and she is doing it in all three sprints.
Back in December of 2021, the University of Southern California signee ran 7.54, 24.36, and 54.69 indoors for the 60m, 200m, and the 400m distances. She didn't pop up back on the track until late March, but she nearly picked up where she left off. At the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays she ran 24.84 in the 200m and 55.34 to win both events.
In the championship rounds, Mallard has run a 11.47 PR in the 100m, a 23.85 in the 200m, and 54.52 at 400m. The star sprinter is back in form just in time to get back to the UIL 5A state track meet where last year she ran to a runner-up placement in the 200m.
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Kailey Litlefield Drops 2:07.50 800m
Littlefield has not ran very much this year, but she has been very good when she has. In the 800m, she already posted a 2:10 and two 2:09 races this year prior to the area meet. Aside from this being a PR and coming nearly two weeks ahead of last year's pace when she ran 2:08.04 at the state meet, she did this with nearly a solo effort.
Second place to her was 10 second behind, meaning Littlefield carried herself to her best time ever at her premiere event. She also qualified for the regional meet in the 1,600 with a 4:58.30.