Texas 17-18 Y.O. Girls End AAU By Dominating Relays

2022 AAU Junior Olympic 17-18 girls 4x400 relay finals

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Track and field is now over. Dating back to last December, the 2022 season brought a lot of anticipation and the hype carried out all of the way through the school season and not until now with USATF, AAU, and U20s complete, can we put a bow around the entire season.

We saw the best track and field athletes in the nation compete at the 2022 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Greensboro, North Carolina. Whenever the best of the best gather, it's always a huge contingent from the state of Texas that is in the midst; the AAU Junior Olympic games was evident of that. 

Not only did youth from all over Texas converge onto the campus of North Carolina A&T University, but so did the best from Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, New York, California and all points in between.

All week there were medalists and winners representing their state or geographic area. On the final day, we were reminded of what had been going on all week long; Texas kids of all ages and from all parts of the state proving to the nation that we are the best track and field state in the country.

That point was driven home when the 17-18 year old young women lined up for the final event of the eight day event. Teams from St. Louis, Milwaukee, and other places fought to get into the eight team final, but the available positions were at a premium thanks to Texas girls.

Anchor legs for The Wings and Team Quest represent for their quartets as they crossed the finish line as National Champions

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Five of the eight teams to make the final were from Texas. The Wings Track Club and the H-Town Hurricanes both hail from Houston and Team Quest, Wildcat Youth Track Club, and Lancaster City Track Club are all from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

This wasn't a phenomenon , rather it was more of a familiarity to have fields filled with Texas teams and individuals.

The first two legs of the 4x400 relay was dominated by Team Quest who set the pace thanks to a brilliant first leg and consistent carry on second leg. The other Texas teams were close behind putting in work as they were in contention for a national title.

It was The Wings who kept in striking distance on the first two legs and thanks to a superb third leg from Michaela McCall, they pulled into the lead prior to the final exchange.

The anchor leg was exhilarating as The Wings held a slight lead over the St. Louis Blues and Team Quest.  Harvard University signee Mfoniso Andrew had been in high pressure situations before individually and in relays coming off of the UIL 6A state meet. However, she knew she had the UIL 6A 400m state champion who would be hot on her trail.

Lauren Lewis, who won the 6A event back in May quickly pulled Team Quest into the second place, and had her team in a good position coming off of the last curve to take the win.

In the end, Andrew was too fast and too strong to reel in as she ensured the victory for The Wings lineup of Madison Dominguez, Nia Parks, McCall, and Andrew and a runner-up finish for Team Quest. Wildcat Youth finished fourth, with Lancaster and H-Town in sixth and seventh places.

2022 AAU Junior Olympic 17-18 girls 4x100 relay finals

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Leading upto the final day was more Texas girls brilliance. The next-to-last day of the event is always 4x100 relay finals day. The relay is one of the premiere events in track and field and Lone Star speed was on display again.

Again, there were five Texas clubs in the finals with Team Quest A and B teams, The Wings, West Side Baptist Church, and Track Dynamite; and again it was Team Quest and The Wings taking dominating the rest of the country.

This time, it would be Team Quest coming out on top as Laila Hackett who won the open 100m, Lewis, Tiriah Kelley, and Kennedy Swann would propel Team Quest's A team to victory. The squad was loaded with three of the four legs being either gold or silver medal winners at the UIL 5A and UIL 6A state meets and too much for any other club. 

The Wings would finish in the runner-up position, further cementing the girl power from Texas we saw throughout the week.