LYNCHBURG, VA --- In the most anticipated race of the VA Showcase at Liberty University on Friday, Atlanta Lakeside (GA) High junior Brian Herron took down MGX's Tyrese Cooper of Florida to claim the AAU 300m boys title.
In the process, Herron also set a new American high school record and surpassed Cooper's former World Junior record from the distance last year.
Herron's winning time of 32.64 seconds topped Cooper's old mark of 32.87, which was set last February in New York at the Armory Track Invitational. Eric Allen Jr. of the Bullis School (MD) also beat the previous mark with his runner-up finish of 32.84, while Cooper, who had a poor block start, was third in 33.12 seconds.
Herron, who posted national-best prep times of 20.95 seconds in the 200m in December and 46.43 in the 400m at the Texas A & M High School Classic in January, was seen as a formidable opponent.
However, the heralded Cooper, a junior from Miami Norland (FL) High, has been ranked first nationally in all events between the 200 and 500m, and posted outdoor best times of 20.51 and 45.38 as a sophomore. Herron, running for the Flight400 track club, had not run the 300m in competition over his career and was seeded in the race based on a 400m time.
As expected, Cooper took the early lead, but he started to fall apart in the final 50 meters, as Herron, running from Lane 5, surged ahead and held his form through the line.
Herron and Cooper will face off again in the 500m, where Strymar Livingston's U.S. high school record of 1:01.68 from 2012 could be in jeopardy.