In one of the spring season's early trend-setting races, Clute Brazoswood's Robert Whitmarsh -- he goes by his middle name Sam -- measured his 800 meter race just right at the Summer Creek Generation Park Relays past Saturday, putting on the heat at the halfway mark to take down two of the state's top half-milers en route to a US No. 1 time of 1:50.48.
In doing so, Whitmarsh cut down his previous PR of 1:50.79 as he looks to enter into sub-1:50 territory.
Early on, Mason laid down the pressure as he swept through the first 300 meters in the lead and tried to hang on. That fast pace, however, came back to him, as Whitmarsh and Rainey both put on moves to pass him at the halfway mark.
Rainey, in particular, ran a career race, dropping a career best mark and looked ever-so-close to dipping under 1:54.
Mason, meanwhile, didn't leave empty-handed. He late beat Whitmarsh heads up in the 400m, dropping a winning mark fo 48.71 seconds; Sam was second in 48.90.
Looking further, these two powerhouse 800m runners will have the luxury of competing within their own divisions down the road at state, with Whitmarsh looking to capture his second straight UIL Class 6A championship -- he won as a sophomore in 1:51.73 -- while Mason will be in Class 6A.
Mason previously ran a career best time of 1:52.91 last year at the AAU Junior Olympics.