Was Brian Herron trying to make a statement in his first indoor competition?
The Decatur Lakeside (GA) High junior, a freshman class record holder in the 400m -- and formerly in the 200m before Tyrese Cooper broke his mark -- is coming off an outdoor season in which he didn't even win a state title, losing twice to Elija Godwin in the 200m and 400m.
But that's no fault of Herron, who has the unfortunate statewide issue of racing against one of the nation's best in Godwin -- a University of Georgia signee -- and then against Cooper, who broke freshman (21.22) and sophomore (21.05) class records in the 200m formerly held by Herron in consecutive seasons, over the indoor campaign.
What's an athlete to do?
Herron, who finished second in the 400m at New Balance Nationals Indoor in 2017, is still Herron. He's still got magic left in those feet, and on December 30 he set the stakes higher nationally when he went U.S. No. 1 times in the 200m (20.95) and 400m (46.43) at the USATF Indoor Hoover Alumni Invitational. It was just his first indoor outing of the season.
He became the first athlete to ever break 47 seconds in the 400m in December -- breaking the former record which took place on the same CrossPlex track on December 9 -- and his performance now ranks No. 4 all-time in the prep record books. The same can be said about his 200m run. He became the first athlete since Noah Lyles to break 21 seconds in the 200m since 2016.
And there's every reason to believe Herron could have more left in the tank, especially considering he's going to go head-to-head against Cooper -- and others -- in the 300m and 500m at the VA Showcase on Jan. 19-20 in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Herron's spring season left a lot to be desired.
He didn't break 46 seconds in the 400m and wasn't able to drop below 21 seconds in the 200m.
But he went on to win gold with Team USA at the Pan American Junior Championships in the 4x400, helping the squad turn in an World Jr. and American Jr. record of 3:00.33.
Watch out for the Georgia star as he continues going for record times this winter season.
His performances are only the beginning of a crazy few months.