Marcus I is and has always been a big deal.
Reason being, well, it's just one of those meets that the top DFW teams and athletes and other talented individuals and teams from around the state travel to to test their early season fitness.
This weekend will be the 31st edition of the meet and it will again be run on the popular North Lakes Park course in Denton, Texas.
The hype surrounding the field of teams that Marcus I and North Lakes Park annually attracts aren't just hopefuls, but they are tried and tested. The results at the meet and throughout the season prove that they live up to the expectations and the hype.
It's popularity is also because it is one of the first 5K races of the season. Ask the athletes and coaches, the course isn't known to be fast, with all of the curves and turns and the many runners in the races, but it is still known to produce some fast times considering it's held at the end of August/first of September.
Annually, at least one of the top three team finishers in both the girls and boys have won a trophy at the UIL 6A state meet and have gone on to qualify for NXN.
The only girls teams to qualify for NXN from the South Region that did not compete at Marcus I has been Kingwood and the only boys teams have been The Woodlands, Boerne Champion, and El Paso Eastwood.
Both the team and individual outcomes for this weekend's Marcus I could continue that trend. Some of the top teams are in the area and consistently compete at Marcus I. The top individual athletes are registered to compete. For example, this year we will no doubt see Whit Dennis of Fort Worth Paschal who ran 15:10 over this past weekend.
The last three years are a microcosm of how Marcus I winners finish their seasons.
2018 - At Marcus, Flower Mound was first, Coppell was second, and Prosper was third. At state, they finished in this order Coppell, Flower Mound, and Prosper with Flower Mound and Prosper qualifying for NXN.
2017 - At Marcus I, Keller won, Southlake Carroll (SLC) second, Hebron was third. At state, Keller won,, Hebron was second, and SLC was third. Keller and SLC would qualify for NXN.
2016 - At Marcus I, Keller won, SLC was second, and Frisco Liberty was third. Keller won the 6A girls and SLC was second with Frisco Liberty taking third at the UIL 5A meet. Keller and SLC would qualify for NXN.
Over the span of the last four years, the average girls winning time for Marcus I 17:32.97 and the average time of the 100th fastest time for each year is 20:37.43. That makes the average girls 5K time on the course in the last four years a 19:37.66.
2018 - The Marcus I boys race would see Flower Mound, SLC, and Wylie go 1, 2, 3. SLC would finish second at state with Flower Mound third, and Wylie fourth. SLC would qualify for NXN.
2017 - The Marcus I boys race would see SLC win Marcus I and Flower Mound finish second. SLC was second at state and both teams qualified for NXN.
2016 - The Marcus I boys winner was SLC followed by Flower Mound. They would finish second and third at state and SLC would qualify for NXN.
The boys races have also been fast and awesome for August running. The average winning 5K average time over the last four years is 15:07.75 and the average 100th place time is 17:12.25. The average boys 5K time on this course at Marcus I in the last four years is 16:36.65.
Marcus I Top 100 Girls Finishers Over Last Four Years
Marcus I Top 100 Boys Finishers Over Last Four Years