Photo of Taylor Nunez (Randolph) winning the 2023 UIL 3A 200 Meters
It was a strong year for the 200m dash in the San Antonio area with multiple State champions last year and it appears that it will be another strong season with many of last year's top runners returning to the fold.
There does not appear to be a dominant 6A boy this year, but it should be a good competition to see who comes out on top. Warren's Nicholas Ross has the best returning time of 21.68, but it is Judson's Myles Davis who had the best finish at the Regional meet. Davis ran 21.82, but he is a bigtime football recruit so it will be interesting to see if he decides to run in the Spring.
Judson and Holmes each have multiple returners who have run under 22.3 in the 200m. In addition to Davis, Armon Couch and Jeremiah Jones give the Rockets added firepower in the event. Jones will be in competition with Brennan's Devin Gills as the top 100-200m runner in the area. The Huskies boast the duo of Ja'ir Hampton and Jake Zuniga who have run 22.06 and 22.16, respectively.
It figures to be a highly competitive season this year and the top 6A girls with six returners who qualified for the Regional meet, including Skyla Lovett (Stevens) and Caydence Jackson (Steele) who each made the finals. Lovett broke 25 seconds last year, but it was Jackson who had a better Regional finish as a freshman. The top 200m runner in the area is Reagan's Mackenzie Dagrosa, but she did not run the event last year but posted a 24.33 in 2022.
In their first season as a program Sotomayor had a pair of top runners in Iyanna Dixon and Gabrielle Perez. Dixon was a Regional qualifier in the 200m, but was even better in the 400m where she finished sixth in the Region. There are three others that have the potential to be the best in the area: Madisun Sparks (Johnson), Darinasia Taylor (Judson) and Toryn Taylor (Harlan). All three are also top 100m runners.
While the 6A boys and girls do not have a dominant returning runner, the 5A boys feature Sam Houston's Jaeden Servantez. Servantez finished in third place in the Region last year and will be the favorite in the Region this year. He has a top time of 21.73 which is well over a half second faster than the next closest returner.
Seguin's Elliot Weaver, Michael Terry of Alamo Heights and Medina Valley's Carter Hewitt are three names to follow. Weaver ran 22.40 as a freshman last year and slots in as the #2 returner while Terry and Hewitt are both better in other events, they could easily be top contenders if they decide to focus on the 200m. Four of the top five returners are from the same district with Weaver, Donavan Lang (Wagner), Hayden Kneese (Tivy) and Sawyer Bolli (Boerne Champion) all set to compete against each other in District 26-5A.
The 5A Girls 200m should be a wide-open event this year since Smithson Valley's Alyssa Jones has moved out of the San Antonio area. Only Lockhart's Rakaia Walker is a returning Regional finalist in the event where she finished in fifth and has a best time of 25.16. However, both Jazmyn Singh (Smithson Valley) and Taniyah Adams (Pieper) ran faster times last year. Singh, a 3-time State finalist in the 400m, ran a 24.83 last year and would be the top returner in the Region if she chose to focus on the event.
While Adams boasts the top 200m time for Pieper runners, it is her teammates Gentry Boykin and Mishaila Briggs who run the event on a consistent basis. MacArthur's Malia Wilcox was a Regional qualifier last year and will be considered the favorite in District 27-5A.
The top two 4A boys in the 200m are the same in the 100m, Curtis Saenz (Pearsall) and Charlie Stahl (Boerne). The duo were the only two underclassmen in last year's Regional final in Kingsville. Saenz finished fifth while Stahl was sixth and they own the top two returning times in the area at 21.95 and 22.16, respectively.
After the top two, there is a tight group of four runners who all ran between 22.48 and 22.60 last year. Giovanni Borjas (Fredericksburg) is the only other runner who qualified for the Regional meet. The other three include Wimberley's Nolan Waida who is one of the top jumpers around as well as Jaden Faz of Somerset and Kyler Payne of Davenport. Both Faz and Payne are two of the top 4A wide receivers in San Antonio.
Davenport's Aniah Tinsley has the top returning time in the area, 25.15, but my choice as the top returner is Bandera's Kinlee Lawlis who was a Regional finalist and has a best time of 25.49. La Vernia has a pair of runners that will be in contention as the top local in the 4A girls 200m, Lacey Matney and Tyler Miles.
Uvalde's Amilee Pulido ran a 26.18 as a freshman last year and rounds out the top five. There are two others, Fredericksburg's Ava Stuewe and Canyon Lake's Ayren Lightfoot, who would immediately become threats at the Regional level if they decided to give the 200m more focus. They both ran 27.3 last year but are also 58-second 400m runners who have the speed to compete.
Dorian Aranda (Dilley), one of the top 3A athletes in the area this year, headlines the 200m. He ran 21.87 last year and finished fourth in the Regional meet. He should be competing for a berth in the State meet. He is also highly ranked in the 100m, long jump and triple jump.
After Aranda, the next four runners are all close to each other. Poth's Gabriel Silansky ran 22.93 while Randolph boasts both Braylen Brown (22.96) and Aaron Davis (23.19). Both Brown and Davis have other events they are better at. The final runner in the top-5 is Jourdanton's Landon Huereca who was a Regional finalist and has a top time of 23.02.
Randolph's Taylor Nunez is at least two seconds and maybe three seconds faster than anyone else at the 3A level in the San Antonio area. She is a two-time State champion in the event and had a top time of 23.42 last year. She won the State title by 0.78s and will be a heavy favorite to win for a third time this year.
The rest of the top-5 includes only two others who qualified for the Regional meet last year, Tiana James (Randolph) and Kahlen Castro (Poth). Cole's Speed Leigh recorded a winning time of 25.64 at the Navarro Panther Relays last year, but did not come within three seconds of that mark the rest of the season. James took sixth in the Region and was a big part of the State championship Ro-Hawk squad. Calyssa Sevier ran 26.85 last year but is a 400m runner who finished fourth in the Region in the event last year.
Private and Homeschool Boys
Alijah Cason (Universal City First Baptist Academy) enters the season as the top returner after taking the silver medal at the TAPPS 2A State Meet. He was the State champ in the 100m and the runner-up in the long jump in addition to running a top time of 22.46 in the 200m.
There are four runners who should be challenging Cason as the top runner in the area. Caleb Norman (SA Patriots) was the Home School State champion last year in both the 100m and 200m and ran a best time of 22.63 at the TTFCA Meet of Champions. Armon Gardner (TMI) was fifth in TAPPS 5A last year and ran 22.68. Nate Griffin of San Antonio Christian and Azorion Sterling of Cornerstone Christian round out the top-5. Central Catholic's Jeremy Burch is a dark-horse candidate to emerge as the top 200m runner in the area.
Private and Homeschool Girls
San Antonio Christian's Olivia Peak is the top returner in the area due to her consistency at breaking 27 seconds last year. She ran a top time of 26.55 and finished sixth in the TAPPS 5A.
Two others to follow this year are Mikayla Kidney (SA Patriots) and Elaina Craven (Fredericksburg Heritage). Kidney only ran the 200m during the summer but clocked a 27.05. She is a well-rounded athlete who finished fourth at the Home School championships in the 100m and was runner-up in the discus. Craven had a State meet to remember last year when she was the runner-up in the 200m and 400m and she was the State champion in the high jump and pole vault as she led her team to a State title.
* Please note that all times are taken from the MileSplit website. There is always a possibility that someone I mentioned no longer competes for the school they did last year or that they are even competing in track and field anymore. These articles are just a very early preview of the upcoming season.