By Will Grundy, MileSplit
The AAU Region 18 Qualifier will go down this week at Elk Stadium, in Burleson, Texas. The meet will be one of three Texas AAU Regional meets that will streamed LIVE on FloTrack.
The Southwestern District meet was one of the toughest AAU district meets and it produced some big time performances. See some of the athletes and relays you will need to keep eye on at the AAU Region 18 meet as the athletes try to qualify for the AAU National meet on 7/26- 8/5/17 in Ysipilanti, Michigan.
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On the girls side, there are going to be some big names and some names who will be future stars in Texas high school track and field. In the sprints, the Dallas area speed is alive and real and will be on display at the AAU Region 18 Qualifier.
Crimson Flash's Alexis Brown won the 15-16 year old girls 100m and 200m at the Southwestern district qualifier. Brown is the UIL 4A long jump champion and third place finisher in the 100m. Can she repeat her two wins from the AAU Southwestern district meet and qualify for AAU Nationals in both of them?
In the girls 15-16 400m, look no further than DeSoto Swift's Bryannia Murphy. She is one of the legs on the DeSoto HS U.S. #13:37.85 4x400 relay .Murphy won the Southwestern district meet by almost two full seconds with her 54.97. Murphy is definitely a threat to win the national title as her 54.02 PR will have her in contention with the top girls.
For the 17-18 year old girls, Lancaster's Tylantiss Atlas is the one to watch out for. Atlas took the Southwestern district title by easily running a 56.93. In order to ensure the regional win and a spot in the national finals, she will definitely have to lower her time. She has a PR of 55.97, so she has proven she can do so.
In the girls jumps, there will be some outstanding performers. Destiny Lawrence won both the long jump and triple jump for the girls 15-16 year old and she did so with some impressive marks. Lawrence popped 18-11 to win the LJ and a 38-11.75 for the TJ win. How far can she go this weekend? On the 17-18 year old girls side, Jadah Walker of Heavenly Track Club and Carli Mcdonald of Crimson Flash went 1-2 in the long jump. These girls didn't make it easy to jump in the same competition as them as Walker went 19-2.75 and Mcdonald went 19-01. Keep an eye on the long jump pit to watch these young ladies fly.
Samantha (6) and Nicole (2) Humphries had three good races at Southwestern district meet
In the distance events, there are two young ladies who may just be two of Texas future distance stars. The two are pretty familiar with each other since they are sisters and more than likely training partners. Competing unattached in the 12 year old division, Samantha Humphries and sister Nicole Humphries both ran impressive times in the three middle distance events.
In the 800m, Samantha placed second with a 2:26.28 with sister Nicole a little behind her in fourth place with a 2:29.61. From there, the two sister took matters into their own hands going 1-2 in both the 1,500m and the 3,000m at the AAU Southwestern district qualifier. Samantha finished with 4:59.83 and 10:52.36 as Nicole's times were 5:06.78 and 10:55.89. Keep track of the Humphries sisters as they will soon hit the high school circuit. With the boys, there are plenty of well known stars and a couple not so infamous, but soon to be stars. Two of Texas' biggest stars over the years have been Sean Hooper and Jake Merrell.
They are two of the most versatile runners in the state of Texas. Hooper runs sprints going as short of a distance as 60m up to the mid distance events like the 800m and he runs them all in elite times. Merrell, on the other hand starts as with the 800m and runs all of the way to the 3,000m. Both guys are national level guys and could square off again in the 800m.
Johnson, Neely, and Jordan will lock horns again in the Region 18 Qualifier 400m
The boys 17-18 400m has three more of Texas' top runners scheduled to compete. Jadon Johnson, Cameron Neely, and Quivell Jordan are all 47.x runners. At the Southwestern district championships, Johnson of Westside Baptist Church TC won in 47.36. Two DeSoto high school teammates finished second and third with Neely of DeSoto Swift TC in 47.94 and Jordan of Elite Endurance TC in 48.30. Jordan also won the 110 and 400 hurdles.
Staying with the 400m, the 15-16 year old boys saw Track Houston's Ian Gilmore cruise to a 49.89 win. Gilmore has a 48.42 PR that he ran during the school track season, so definitely look for him to put up a big time at the AAU Region 18 Qualifier.
Ian Gilmore will look to win the Region 18 Qualifier in the 400m for 15-16 year old boys
Now to some names you might not be very familiar with. Mesquite High School's Caleb Boger will compete in the 15-16 year old boys 100m and 200m races. Boger will represent his club MFBC Striders. Be very attentive when he runs, because a lack of attention could cause you to miss him. Boger won both races at the Southwestern District championships in 10.78 and 21.77. Boger just completed his sophomore season with a trip to the UIL 6A State meet where he competed in the 200m. Can he run faster and can he win the Region 18 championships in both races? We will see, but do become very familiar with Boger as he will be one of the top sprinters in the state very soon!
This last guy, I'm almost certain, most have never heard of....YET. Chace Biddle is young but like Boger, he shows that he might be one of Texas future stars. Biddle of the JA Jets won the Southwest District Qualifier in both the 200m and 400m for the 13 year old boys. With times of 23.89 and 53.81, look out for Biddle to go even faster at the Region 18 Qualifier.
We definitely can not forget the relay action. With so many top athletes in the individual races, you know they have to be loaded with talent in the relays.
In the 4x800 relays, in any division that has the North Texas Jackrabbits green and gold....BEWARE! They specialize in the middle distance events and had too many relays to count that advanced to this week's Region 18 Qualifier.
One of Track Houston's 15-16 year old boys 4x100 relays (Photo by Belinda Munoz)
In the 4x100 relays, Track Dynamite had a very strong 17-18 year old girls team that finished with an impressive 46.98. On the boys side, Track Houston 15-16 year old boys ran an impressive 41.89 and could possibly challenge for the national record later in the season. The CL Stars 17-18 year old boys also ran fast. They ran a 40.97, which currently leads all club teams in the nation.
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AAU Region 18 Qualifier: Athletes And Relays To Watch Out For
By Will Grundy, MileSplit