High School athletes often dream of big moments, of big events, and of big races.
And perhaps for prep athletes vying for the tradition of a Texas Relays championship, there's no better honor of winning against some of the state's -- and in some cases, the country's -- best at a venue like Mike Myers Stadium at the University of Texas.
Already, we've seen some lightning-fast times, and some of have been so fast we haven't had much time to process them.
1. Let's start with Houston Yates (TX) High junior Ally Henson. Here's something else. Yates entered the 100mH with a career-best time of 14.61 seconds. Now, on a state level that's very good. She was ranked No. 17 in Texas with that effort. But something must have come out of Henson on Friday during the prelims, because she had an out-of-body experience, going a wind-legal 13.90 seconds (+1.5), which not only rushed her up the state rankings to No. 1 but also No. 2 in the country. You can call that the Texas Relays effect.
2. High school action started Thursday. And two preps from Mexico, Cesar Gomez-Ponce and Arian Chia-Hernandez, earned wins in both fields. Chia-Hernandez won the girls race in 7:04.02, while Gomez-Ponce finished in what would be good for a US No. 1 mark in the US. Beyond Ponce, however, Austin Lake Travis' Brendan Hebert was second in 6:09.37 and Freeburg's Charlie Parrish was third in 6:09.78. Hebert already owns a US No. 1 time of 6:06.74, so Parrish moved up the ranks to No. 3 in the country. Katy Tompkins' Hayden Gold was second in the girls race in 7:15.35, which was good for a US No. 2 mark as well.
3. Before Friday, there wasn't really a very good 100m time that matched up with Florida's Briana Williams and Tamari Davis. That ended during the prelims. Dallas Carter's Sha'Carri Richardson, the top returning sprinter from last year, went an all-conditions 11.42 (+4.2) to earn the fastest time on the day and qualify for the finals on Saturday. In Division II, Texas return Kynnedy Flannel of Alvin had the fastest wind-legal time in 11.62 (+1.2).
4. The boys 100m final should be more than interesting, too. The top four times all were within five-tenths of each other, though only the top two were wind-legal. That honor went to The Woodlands' Kesean Carter, who went 10.52 (+0.3) seconds compared to Allen's Asante Fazarro, who crossed in 10.55 (+2.0).
5. Mansfield Lake Ridge (TX) High's Jasmine Moore still has the triple jump to compete in on Saturday, but she opened with a big win in the long jump, producing a new US No. 1 effort of 20-7 to finish out the night.
6. It was a smart time to run the SMR at the Texas Relays. Two teams broke new US No. 1 marks, including the Summer Creek (TX) boys, who was the fastest team to cross the line in 3:28.21 and was one of five teams that rewrote the national leaderboard. On the girls side, McKinney North set a new US No. 1 mark in 3:55.21.