The uber-efficient organizers of the Flower Mound Marcus meet did something no one else in Texas has pulled off this season—putting lots of fast kids on a fast track. Over 1,700 runners posted times on one of the few dry Lone Star courses to be found to date. The hundreds of tightly packed fans in the narrow finishing stretch urged the runners on, making Southlake Carroll’s Neal Smith feel like he “was in the Alps finishing the Tour de France.” Complete Article
Summer mileage will be a thing of the past as North Texas runners show their stuff this Saturday at Denton’s North Lakes Park in the Marcus I Invitational. With last week’s washout of Friday Night Lights in the Houston area, Marcus I becomes the year’s first premiere event. Saturday morning will see the park transform into a tent city as thousands of runners flaunt their new team t-shirts and, hopefully, begin their march towards regional and state qualifying births. Quality runs throughout the Marcus I field, starting with the host school. Junior standout Craig Lutz leads his regional favorite Marauder team onto a course he knows well. Last year Lutz used the race as a kickoff to a stellar season that saw him a winner every week until the State final where he finished third. Marcus will not go unchallenged, however, as Region 1-5A powers Coppell, Hebron and Southlake Carroll will be on hand. Carroll’s senior leader Neal Smith is the likely challenger to Lutz in the race for individual honors. In the smaller school divisions Argyle and Highland Park will field their traditionally strong teams. On the women’s side, Greenhill’s Chelsey Sveinsson should be worth the price of admission by herself. With the graduation of California’s Jordan Hasay, Sveinsson is everyone’s pick as the top female distance runner in the nation. A heavy summer racing schedule concluded with a fourth place finish in the 1,500 meters at the IAAF World Youth Games. The long track season means Sveinsson probably will not be in peak form but she is still the odds on favorite to run the day’s best time. Greenhill normally competes in the 4-A and under race and if anybody from that field has the chops to push Sveinsson it will likely be Argyle’s Colbea Harris or Fort Worth Boswell’s Maggie Escobar. Boswell’s team of talented sophomores and juniors should handle the competition for a team win. The big schools race looks wide open. Carroll, Coppell and Marcus promise to stage a memorable battle with runners in the five and possibly six spots deciding who goes home with the team trophies. The dark horse might be Highland Park. Although a 4-A school, the Scots usually run their varsity at the 5-A level in this meet. Coppell’s Kim Kirby, Highland Park’s Sara Sutherland, and Southlake’s Jessica Harper share pre-race favorite status. Entries have not formally closed and there will be a sea of unknown runners looking to make a name for themselves so all of the above is subject to revision. The only certainty is that all that summer mileage will payoff for somebody. The rest will have their t-shirts.
I usually don't pick the boys and girls athletes if they are in the same meet but these 2 performances were truly great. Jeff Arnier had a huge day and lost by 3 seconds to one of the top runners in the State. Chelsey opened her season with a 10:45 that is very inpressive. She should have a monster year.
Meet Comment: Marcus I Invitational 2009
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