2017 Season Preview
Feb 6, 2017
The 2017 Outdoor Texas high school track and field season is underway and we here at Inside Texas Track have our eyes on some things.
A few things to look for this year in Texas track and Field are:
1. Will Mansfield Lake Ridge’s Jasmine Moore break the state record in the Triple Jump? Last year’s freshman Phenom Jasmine Moore of Mansfield Lake Ridge took not only the state, but the country by storm, winning both the 5A girls long and triple jump titles. Not only that, but set a freshman National high school record in the process by breaking Luling’s Ychlindria Spears’ former mark. So what will she do as an encore? Will she go through a sophomore slump or build on last year’s success? Early indications show the latter. During the indoor season, Moore has mastered the 42 foot mark in the triple jump…TWICE. Look for her to challenge the overall national high school mark of 44-2 ¼ held by Spears.
2. How close will The Woodlands Adrian Piperi get to Michael Carter’s High school Shot Put Record? You know how the old saying goes, "records were made to be broken." Well, they did not have Michael Carter, 1979 graduate of Dallas Thomas Jefferson in mind when they said that. Take any record you want to recognize as the record. Track and Field News lists his record at 81-3 ½ that was performed at the Golden West track meet back in 1979. The National Federation of High School Associations lists his record at 77-0. It doesn’t matter which one you recognize, they both have lasted a very long time. The Woodlands Adrian Piperi may not get Carter’s national record, but he does know what it feels like to break a Michael Carter's record. Piperi broke the long standing record at the Dallas Jesuit meet last year with a toss of 70-3. How close can Piperi get to Carter’s national record? I guess we will see in 2017.
3. District 23-5A, who wins the heavyweight fight, Manvel or FB Marshall? For the last two years, Fort Bend Marshall has ruled the 5A division at the state level winning the last two titles. This year, the three-peat will be a daunting task for the Buffs. Not only did last year’s 6A powerhouse Manvel move down to 5A, the wonderful people at the UIL thought it would be a treat to place them in the same district as FB Marshall; Guaranteeing this will be the hottest district meet in town. “I told our kids they may win some battles along the way, but our plan is to win the war,” stated Marshall’s head coach Lloyd Banks. The battle lines have been set and this looks to be an epic battle.
4. Will we get a repeat performance in the boys 6A 3200 and 1600 from Comal Canyon’s Sam Worely and Southlake’s Reed Brown? Speaking of epic battles, the showdown at last year’s state championship between Comal Canyon’s Sam Worely and Southlake’s Reed Brown still amaze people when they sit and think about what they did in the 1600 and 3200. BATTLED, till the very end, both athletes swapped places, with Reed taking the 3200, and placing second in the 1600, and vice versa for Worely claiming the 1600 and getting second in the 3200. Both runners ran faster than the state record of 8:52.34 in the 3200 only to be separated by a second. In the 1600, it was less than a second that determined the winner. Could we see a sub-four minute mile when these two meet again? Or better yet, could we see two sub-four minute mile.
5. With the X on their backs, can Desoto continue the school’s sport domination over the state? You know life is sometimes not fair, but that’s just the way it is. I mean ok, you guys won both the girls and boys state title in track and field last year. But dang, you won boys basketball and you guys won the football title. I mean C’MON man. Let somebody else win…dang. Well, in this world, you don’t LET anybody do anything, you have to earn it and that’s what they have been doing at Desoto high school…Earning everything they get. On the girl's side, they lost a lot with the graduation of their superstar hurdler Alexis Duncan and their speed queen Kira White, but don’t count these young ladies out. They still have a lot left in the stable and with some very fast incoming freshmen, they look to go out and defend their title. On the guys’ side, the defense will be tough, but rest assured that Coach Donald Miller and his assistant coaches are up for the challenge.
6. Could we see a Champion-ship 200/400 Double? Back in the day, Arlington Lamar’s Jeremy Wariner did it. San Antonio Holmes’ Darold Williamson did it as well. Before going off to become Baylor legends, both these athletes pulled off the Double Gold 200/400 combo. Now we have Champion Allison of Richmond George Ranch. Will he go for the Double Gold 200/400 combo? He definitely has the skill set to do it. He currently leads the nation in the indoor 200 with a time of 21.19. He won the 6A state title in the 400 last year in a time of 46.40. He is primed for the Double Gold 200/400 combo. Funny how we media can just create a category.
7. Who to keep an eye on in 2017? When it comes to track and field talent, the pool gets no deeper than the state of Texas. We are known for our speedy athletes. Here are a few athletes to keep an eye out for:
*Kennedale’s Alexis Brown(10th grade) - Brown was the only freshman runner to qualify to the finals in the 100 meter dash at last year’s Texas Relays. She began her indoor season with posting a Top 10 time in the 60 meter dash in the country. She is scheduled to run at the New Balance Meet later this year. Look for Brown to have people taking notice this year.
*Frisco’s Whitney Williams (10th Grade) - Last year’s 5a 400 meter champion is back to defend her title. Not only a great 400 meter runner, but also a darn good jumper. Williams placed 3rd at last year’s state meet in the triple with a jump of 40-4 ¾, while finishing 2nd in the long jump with a leap of 19-4 ½. Williams could very well achieve the 40 foot, 20 foot, 53 seconds in the 400 combination. Again with the media made up category.
*Dallas Carter’s Sha’Carri Richardson(11th Grade) - Richardson comes back this year sporting the fastest time ran at the state meet in the 100 with a time of 11.58.
*Fort Bend Marshall’s Tyrell Valentine(12th Grade) - After not qualifying in the open 400 last year for the state meet, Valentine has a chip on his shoulder and has a point to prove. During the indoor season this year, Tyrell has already posted a 48.53 ranking him 1st in the state and 8th nationally.
*Fort Bend Marshall’s Shamon Ehiemua (12th Grade) - Back to defend his 200 meter title, Sr Shamon Ehiemua is out on a mission. He has ran a 21.29 indoors and is looking to decreasing that time even lower. With his team in battle for their third consecutive 5A State title, look for this warrior to lay it all down on the track.