Region 2-6A Events To Be Excited To Watch

Celeste Robinson, Nasya Williams, and Avia Jones embrace after a blazing fast 200m race at the 2024 Texas A&M Bluebonnet HS Inv.

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Region 2-6A is an interesting region when you consider the geography of its members. 

It doesn't help preparation when you aren't extremely familiar with your competitors, but it does provide and explosive event talent wise.

You have schools from South Dallas to Northwest Houston and Central Texas all competing for state meet berths.

The entire meet will be a must-see event, but we have highlighted several girls and boys events below that you won't want to miss.

Girls Sprints

This is not the region to be in if you're a girl sprinter wanting to get the the state meet. This is a dog-eat-dog field that will be competing this weekend with hopes of getting to the state meet.

All season long, Region 2-6A girls have been dominant and even getting to this meet through the districts and areas championships have tarnished the hopes of getting to state for many talented individuals and teams.

The defending UIL 6A state champion Celeste Robinson (Houston Cyp. Ranch) still reigns until someone takes her crown. She has the top regional time on the season with her 11.37 run at the UIL 6A - District 16. She also has the top tim from the area rounds in the 200m with her 23.45.

Hannah Lowe was the third place 100m finisher from last years state meet. The Garland Sachse senior ra 11.41 at her area meet as well as 24.10 in the 200m.

Royaltee Brown (Dallas Skyline) ran 11.51 at her area meet for the second best time in the region and has tasted state meet success.

In the 100m event, Avia Jones (Klein Forest) - 11.55, Sanyah Keeton (Duncanville) - 11.57, Aaliyah Gipson (Duncanville) -11.60, and Janiyah Mc Donald (Klein Forest) -11.63 are also all under 11.65 on the season.

There are four girls in this region alone who have run sub 24-seconds in the 200m. Nasya Williams (DeSoto) has the SB in the region with her 23.25 leading mark.

Robinson, Jones, and Anya Jackson (Bridgeland) also fall in that group with Sydnee Burr (Cypress Park) - 24.08 and Hannah Lowe (Garland Sachse) - 24.10 who are all on the cusp of cracking that barrier this season.

Girls Long Jump

Sydnee Burr (Cypress Park) should control the runway and pits in the girls long and triple jumps with 20-9 and 41-10.5 season bests. However, if there is one event that could get really interesting it will be the long jump.

Behind Burr is Ashley Lister (Duncanville) at 20-0, but also a trio of 19-footers.

Priscilla Adu-Gyamfi (Houston Cyp. Ranch) has a 19-9.5 SB, Kaurie Holleman (Temple) has a 19-3.5 SB, and Saniyah Richardson (Temple) has a 19-2 SB and will make a great jump competition.

Girls 400m

This will be another sprint event that will closely competed. 

De'Kayla Simpson (Duncanville) has a 54.54 SB coming off the UIL 6A - District 11/12 Area and leads the region. Not too far off that pace is Paige Bell (Houston Cyp. Ranch) who dropped a 54.74 SB at the UIL 6A 15/16 Area Meet.

Madison Evans (Klein Forest) looks for a return trip to the state meet in this event and has a 54.66 SB from her UIL 6A - District 15.

Getting to the finals will be quite the challenge with an abundance of girls who have run 55s this year.

Tristan Campbell (Klein Collins), Ashley Lister (Duncanville), Jayda Runnels (Bridgeland), Chikere Nwachuku (Klein), and Kaurie Holleman (Temple) have all run under 55.80.

Girls Pole Vault

There could be very little room for error in this pole vault competition, even for state meet finalist and Nebraska signee Jacelyn Neighbors (Royse City).

She comes in with a 12-10.25 SB, but has several jumps over 13 feet. 

There are a few girls who will push her for the regional title.

Brooklyn Nalley (Rockwall Heath) had a big 12-6 PR from her UIL 6A Area Meet - District 9 & 10 meet. It'll could take that type of performance to earn a trip to Austin.

As a freshman, Tierany Neighbors (Royse City) was fifth at last year's regional meet. That experience could be what she recalls on to vault her way up to a qualifying spot this weekend. She has a 12-3.75 SB.

As with Nalley and Tierany, Amalia Gonzalez (Klein) is just a sophomore, but she also has a solid shot at advancing with her 12-0 SB. 

Girls 800m

I'm still trying to get over the fact that Grace Kowalski (Conroe Grand Oaks) didn't advance in either the 400m or the 800m.

However, this field is still extremely potent.

Taryn Bailey (DeSoto) and Gia Kurp (The Woodlands) were both state finalist last year with Bailey medaling.

On the season, Kurp has the top time with her 2:12.41 and her The Woodlands teammate Darasimi Odelowo is right on her heels with a 2:13.23 SB. 

Charley Hamilton (Rockwall) lurks close behind with a 2:13.76, Bailey at 2:14.65 with a group of 2:15 girls close behind.

Girls Distances

Staucie Lees (Conroe Grand Oaks), Felicity Hamilton (Klein Cain), and Kathryn Koonts (Klein) are no strangers to the state track meet.

This year will be a tough task to out run one of those three, however, there are three other girls who have run under 5:00 in the 1600m with six girls who have run under 11:00 this season in the 3200m.

Last year the 3200m came down to the last 500m for separation to decide the qualifiers and this race could be the same. 

The 1600m should come down to one move around the 1K mark and whoever can hold on will head to Austin.

Girls Hurdles

Lillian Harden is the second ranked hurdler nationally and should be a shoe-in for the state meet with her 13.92.

There are at minimum four girls who will fight for the second qualifying position. Naomi Booker (Tomball) at 13.92 and Krystan Bright(Cedar Hill) at 13.93 both are under 14.00 this year.

More challenge will come from two girls from the defending state champions Trezur Connley and Gabrielle Goodgames out of Duncanville as they ran 14.01 and 14.15 at their area meet.

In the 300-meter hurdles, nobody is safe until the race is actually over. Six girls have run under 44 seconds this year, again led by Harden's 42.30.

Bright - 43.27, Booker - 43.32, Kelcy Horace (Garland Lakeview Centennial) - 43.33, Olivia Ruiz (Klein) - 43.37, and Aaliyah Booker (The Woodlands) - 43.78 should be able to make the finals, but there are several 44 second runners who will look to make it extra difficult.

Girls 4x100 Relay

Klein Forest (45.06) and Duncanville (45.27) are the US No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the country in the 4x100 relay. Klein Forest is the defending state champion and will again be hard to beat this year.

Behind the two 45 second teams are a host of 46-low teams who can be ready to bounce on any mistakes made.

Bridgeland has a season best of 46.04, DeSoto has a 46.10, and Cy Ranch has a 46.46 with Celeste Robinson on the end.

Girls 4x400 Relay

Duncanville should be the class of the field with their 3:44.58 region's best.

However, it will be a battle of survival to make the final and day two will be even harder.

There are six teams in a three second range. Cypress Ranch has a 3:47 low SB and The Woodlands has a 3:47 high season best.

Add Waxahachie and their 3:49 even, Klein Forest at 3:49.40,  and with DeSoto and Conroe checking in at 3:50, the last race of the days will be hard fought events.

A little tid bit of unexpectation; watchout for a push from Cy Ranch who has a great stable of speed and season performances. I can see them giving a solid push to Duncanville.

Boys Sprints

This is a deep field and will be two of the more difficult events to advance in throughout the state.

It could legitimately take 10.4 just to make the finals. We've seen Caden Durham (Duncanville), Brayden Williams (Duncanville), and Perry Watkins (The Woodlands) give battles against one another already this year at the Texas A&M Bluebonnet Inv..

At the time, it was hard to think about seeing anyone else who could challenge those three. However, here we are and that is what we have.

Braylin Byrd (Tomball Memorial) has made a name for himself this season, but Darius Rodgers (Klein Cain), Tanook Hines (Spring Dekaney), Kory Boyd (Wylie East), Ayodele Ojo (Waxahachie), and Christian Nunley (Conroe) are all capable of advancing in the 100m as well.

For what it's worth, Durham is the only returning UIL 6A 100m medalist from last year's state meet and that is worth keeping in mind.

In the 200m, it's a lot of the same names from the 100m that make this another deep sprint field

You'll want to keep an eye on a pair of Highlanders. Iliya Dryaba (The Woodlands) with a 20.74 season best and Tyler Honeyman (The Woodlands) 21.04 are both fast and strong enough to possibly control this race.

If there is one runner to keep an eye on in my opinion it would be DeSoto's Daylon Singleton; he will be a tough runner to knock out.

Boys Pole Vault

With the pole vault, you just never know what can and will happen. This is an ebb and flow event if there ever was one in track and field.

That applies here and yet at the same time, it doesn't

Reigning and defending UIL 6A state champion Dyson Wicker (Rockwall Heath) is the best vaulter in the nation and he proved that with his NBNI national title.

His 17-8.50 ties him for TX No. 6 all-time with Daven Murphree (Harmony Big Sandy) - 2013 and Brandon Bray (China Spring) - 2014.

It's kind of hard seeing him get knocked off course from earning a return trip to Austin.

Ben Haywood (Tomball Memorial) is having a good freshman season and checks in with a 16-0 best clearance this season. He'll have Garrett Savage (Rockwall) to contend with who also has a 16-0 best clearance.

If there are any challenges or off days, look for Jorden Keith (Bridgeland) who has a 15-1 SB and Edward Zieglar (Conroe Grand Oaks) who has a 15-0 SB to challenge.

Boys 400m

Lawson Jacobs (Klein Forest) was the UIL 6A runner-up last year's 400m at the state meet. He should have the lead on getting back to state with his 46.76 region leading performance. It's one thing to have talent and another to have experience. 

To have both is advantageous. Jacobs has both.

Damarien Jacobs (Conroe) isn't new to the state meet either. He has a season best run of 47.61 and his experience could pay off its benefits.

Heath Grant (Willis), Jacoby Harmon (Houston Cyp. Springs), and Javion Daniels (Dallas Skyline) are all sub-48 runners coming into the meet. They will not go quietly into the night without a fight. Grant and Harmon are both in the 800m as well, but that is a non-factor on day one.

Boys 800m

Adin Lathrop (Bridgeland) is having a great season including a 1:51.63 SB. He leads the event, but has a lot of talented runners not too far behind his pace.

Many thought Lathrop was a lock to make it to state after his early fast runs and his indoor season. However, the race has since become a murkier race than expected.

Jacoby Harmon (Houston Cyp. Springs) at 1:51.77 and Heath Grant (Willis) with his 1:52.08 are two 47-second 400m runners who can keep pace with Lathrop. They will might have the 400m prelim on their legs from day one, so that is worth noting.

Camden Gibson (College Park) and Cortlin Salge (Bridgeland) are two additional runners in the 1:53s can make this an exciting race.

Gibson is in the 1600m later in day one, and Salge trains with Lathrop which is an advantage for him.

Following the 4x100 relay, the 800m will keep the energy in the stadium flowing.

Boys 300-meter Hurdles

Three boys enter the regional meet with sub 38-second performances this season.

The very talented and fast Klein Collins sophomore Andrew Jones is the regional leader with is 36.75 run that won him the Texas Relays race. 

Include Owen Neves (The Woodlands) and his 37.83 PR from the UIL District 13-6A & 14-6A Area Meet after starting off the season with a 43 second race and you have a dangerous hurdler who is on a hot streak.

Timothy Thomas (College Park) was second behind Neves at the area meet and earned himself a 37.93 PR and he is on a streak of his own.

Making this an even tougher race will be Tristan Horn (Houston Cyp. Falls), Cole Schulz (Langham Creek), and Philip Okechukwu (Cypress Woods).

Boys 4x100 Relay

This event has been headline worthy all season long and it's now for all of the marbles.

Four teams enter with sub 41-second verified seeds on the year. Usually, that is a state meet type of outcome, not necessarily the entry standard for the regional meet.

The preliminary races can't be overlooked by a single team. With Klein Cain an eyelash away from a sub 41-second time themselves at 41.09 and four teams with area qualifying seeds from 41.34 to 41.45, vying for the eight finals lane assignments will have a premium level of urgency and importance.

Three of the relay teams have overall team state championship abilities and aspirations, which increase the importance of the race.

At most, three teams can qualify for state, if one earns the "wild card" third place run.

Attention across the state will be watching the "wild card" situation.

Making it more dire of a situation is having two teams in the state who have bettered the previous national record and one in this region in Duncanville.

The Panthers have run the second and third fastest times ever with their 39.65 and 39.73 races. They enter regionals with a 40.60 from the area championship with The Woodlands at 40.65, Klein Forest at 40.67, and Conroe at 40.97.

With the situation in Region 3-6A almost mirroring this region, the two automatic qualifying positions will take a near perfect race.

Boys 4x200 Relay

While the 4x200 doesn't have the hype the 4x100 relay has on the season, it will be as equally important and difficult to qualify in.

Duncanville head coach Clayton Brookins is on record saying it may take a national record to win the 4x200m at state this year. Well, it might take that to win Region 2-6A even before that.

Speaking of the national record, that sits with 2018 The Woodlands Highlanders with their 1:23.25 standard. This year's Highlander squad enters having the best time in the state and No. 2 nationally with their 1:23.96.

Duncanville has the second best regional mark with their 1:24.66, and Klein Forest has the best area mark entry at 1:24.78.  Klein Forest has the third best all-time performance from their 2022 state title winning team.

These aren't sprint teams duking it out, these are sprint programs!

Boys 4x400 Relay

Everyone knows the 4x400 relay is the best and most exciting event in track and field. When done right, its amplified.

Region 2-6A teams know how to magnify this event. For example, last year is a key illustration of how dynamic this race gets in this region.

Klein Forest had the best time going into the regional meet, but was third in the finals and didn't automatically qualify. The tightly contested race came down to the final straightaway to determine the qualifiers which went to College Park and The Woodlands.

In the end, Klein Forest was able to earn the "wild card" and made it to the state meet. They would win the 4x400 relay state title, which those points effectively catapulted them to win their second team state title in five years.

This year will be just as important and exciting.

Duncanville has the best time in the season with their 3:11.74, Klein Forest enters with a 3:12.87, Bridgeland at 3:13.57, and The Woodlands at 3:14.78.

Duncanville, The Woodlands, and Klein Forest will be contesting in all three sprint relays, which will be important to their team state title aspirations.

Look out for Bridgeland, If things go right for them in the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m, the 4x100 and 4x400, they will have an outside shot at winning a team state title.

Boys Throws

The strong boys better have their arms on ice now, because the shot put and discus events will need all their arms have and more.

Tyler Grant (Conroe Grand Oaks) is the region leader in the shot put with his 56-8 SB toss. He also has the top qualifying throw from area with his 54-8.75.

However, there is a gang of boys who will be breathing down his neck for the two automatic state meet qualifying spots.

One of which is his Grand Oaks teammate Aaiden Inniss. The senior tossed his best distance at area when he bested 54-7.5 to qualify to Waco. 

Isaiha Pena (Mansfield Lake Ridge) has a 55-8 best throw this year and went for a 54-5.5 to win his area meet.

If there are any fatigued arms, look for a solid group of boys who have all thrown 51 feet.

Grant is the top performer in the region at the discus as well. He is over 182 feet, but he has last year's state qualifier Xavier Westmoreland (Klein) close behind with is 181-6 SB distance.