* Photo by Mary Ann Magnant
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The pivotal question that's been circling the entire 2018 season?
Will Anthony Schwartz become the first high school sprinter of all-time to legally register a time under 10 seconds at 100 meters?
The Plantation American Heritage (FL) senior, a dual-recruit for Auburn University in track and field and football, has aspirations of breaking this record at the Great Southwest Classic on June 2 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
And, he may have a real shot! Historically, the University of New Mexico's track has provided some great case studies. Elevated at 5,312 feet and located at the foot of the Rio Grande, sprinters have traditionally been very fast at this meet.
But can it be done?
Much will be ado about this pending history-making performance, but the bigger question is whether it's possible. Interestingly enough, the only time an all conditions sub-10 run has ever been accomplished by a high schooler, it came at Great Southwest in 2013 and was achieved by a future Olympian by the name of Trayvon Bromell.
There are a few key variables if Schwartz is to make this attempt.
1. Ample Rest
Of course, not every athlete needs the same amount of rest or lead-in time for a meet, but tradition says about a month's break from competition leads to the biggest results. In 2014, Trentavis Friday's national record of 10.00 (+1.6) came just over a month from his last competition. In 2008, Jeffery Demps was three weeks off a tune-up meet before he landed a 10.01 (+1.6). J-Mee Samuels was over a month removed from Nike Outdoors and his all conditions 10.34 when he posted a 10.08 (+0.7) in 2005. Conversely, though, Bromell had run just two weeks prior to his all conditions 9.9 (+4.0) at Great Southwest in 2013. Willie Hordge, who owns the fastest venue record at the University of New Mexico for a high school sprinter at 100 meters, had run two weeks earlier at UIL before he posted a 10.21 (+2.0) in 2002.
So where does Schwartz fit in here? His last race was on May 5 at the state championships in Florida. So by the time he steps to the track on June 2 for the finals of the 100, he'll have about a month's worth of training and rest.
2. A Beneficial Wind Reading
This is obvious. Schwartz needs a legal wind to mark a legal time in the 100. But more than that, he needs an ideal wind to help him get there. While Albuquerque will present a good opportunity for Schwartz, it still remains to be seen if he will get the right conditions. The all-time fastest wind-legal mark was accomplished by Hordge in 2002 with a time of 10.21 (+2.0). Of course, there are major differences between Schwartz and Hordge. The Texan never approached 10 after Great Southwest and wasn't nearly as accomplished as Schwartz, who has five times under his best in 2018 alone, including three wind-legal readings.
3. The Right Field
This is also VERY, VERY important. Entries haven't closed just yet -- and Schwartz isn't on them just yet -- but the current field leaves a lot to be desired. During Hordge's wind-legal attempt in 2002, the next fastest athletes in his heat registered the No. 2 and No. 3 fastest times at the venue for a high school sprinter. Friday's national record came against Bromell (10.08) and Jalen Miller (10.19). Demps accomplished his feat at the US Olympic Trials -- when eight athletes broke 10 that same year. Bromell, however, has been one to buck tradition. His all conditions 9.99 butted against the No. 2 time of 10.43, meaning ...no one was around him when he flew to the finish. Last year's field included Roman Turner (10.43), Jordan Byrd (10.47) and Keishawn Everly (10.48). Both Byrd and Everly could return as seniors.
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If nothing else, Schwartz's 100m attempt will be a headline grabber. He's been the fastest high schooler in the country for 2018, and he's dominated both the indoor and outdoor campaigns with general ease.
The only remaining barrier for the Florida prep to cross remains undone historically.
Can Anthony Schwartz break 10 seconds at Great Southwest?
Make sure to watch the LIVE feed on MileSplit on June 2.
New Mexico Venue WL Best 100m Times - NWL Best 100m Times
All-Time WL Best 100m - All-Time NWL Best 100m