The 2013 U.I.L. Track & Field State Meet begins Friday morning, and those who keep up with football recruiting news will recognize the names of many of the scheduled competitors, several of whom have been written about or discussed on the boards here. For example, from scanning the Inside Texas 2014 Pre-Season Top 100
list, I can tell you that the state track meet will feature #s 4, 6, 7, 10, 41, 56, 77, 78, 94, and 100. The Class 5A group is deepest when it comes to speed and the overall quality of its jumpers and throwers, but the 4A group has the most star power, by far. What I mean is, if you don't follow high school track and field but you do follow recruiting, there are a lot more names you're likely to recognize in the 4A group. There are nine participants in each event in each classification, the nine being made up of the top two finishers from each of the four regional meets, plus the best third place finisher. Here I'll highlight several individual athletes to watch and list what should be some of the most competitive and football prospect-heavy events of the weekend.
The U.I.L. website has the full schedule of events for the meet here: http://www.uiltexas.org/track-field/state
The official lists of state meet qualifiers and lane assignments for each race can be read here: http://www.uiltexas.org/track-field/state/track-field-state-meet-qualifiers-results
For those who would like to watch the meet but can't make the drive to Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, the meet will be streamed live online via Flotrack. Click here for broadcast information and the link to Flotrack.com's event page for the meet: http://www.uiltexas.org/track-field/state/track-field-state-meet-broadcast-information
Runners to watch
Ishmael Zamora (Alief Elsik) - 2014 wide receiver
5A boys 110 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles, long jump
He's a big-bodied and pretty strong 6-foot-3 wide receiver who has just started picking up offers in the last month and a half. His exploits on the track may have helped him in that regard. Utah offered him in March, and SMU and Northern Colorado within the past two weeks. He should have a lot more by the end of the summer. He has a top-5 seed time or distance in each of the three events he'll compete in.
Kyle Fulks (Katy) - 2013 defensive back (Baylor signee)
5A boys 100 meter dash
Fulks was a member of Katy's Class 5A Division II state champion football team, and will attempt to add a state track meet gold medal to go with his state championship ring. He returns to the state meet after finishing 2nd in the 100 meters and 4th in the 200 meters a year ago. He had the 2nd-fastest regional time among the 5A state finalists in the 100 meters (10.48), behind fellow Katy ISD speedster Eli Hall-Thompson of Morton Ranch (10.40).
Justin Stockton (Cibolo Steele) - 2014 running back (Texas Tech commit)
5A boys 100 meter dash, 4x200 meter relay
Stockton and Kyle Fulks are the lone returning competitors from last year's 5A 100 meter final. He finished 8th in 2012 and goes into this year's meet tied for the slowest seed time in the 5A group (10.83).
Arno Hamilton (Galena Park North Shore) - 2015 athlete
5A boys 110 meter hurdles and 4x200 meter relay
Hamilton, despite only being a sophomore, had the fastest regional time in the 110 hurdles among the 5A state qualifiers. What his football prospects are I do not know, but he was listed as 6-feet-tall and 165 pounds on North Shore's roster.
Dre'Vian Young (Houston Nimitz) - 2013 running back (Utah signee)
5A boys 400 meter dash and 4x400 meter relay
Young, the younger brother of former UT running back Selvin Young, will make his third and final attempt to win the 400 meters at state. In both 2011 and 2012 he finished 2nd to Mansfield Timberview's Aldrich Bailey (who now runs track for Texas A&M). Young's 2nd place times were 47.18 and 46.97, respectively. He has the best seed time in the 400 meters by a full half-second (47.24), and he and his teammates on Nimitz's 4x400 relay will also enter the state meet with the best seed time (3:15.14). Young has been thwarted by a future Olympian twice in the past, but I'm betting he leaves Austin with at least one gold medal this time.
Wolf Mahler (Belton) - 2013 Texas track signee
5A boys 400 meter dash and pole vault
Mahler is among the top decathletes nationwide in his age group. Next year he'll be competing with the Texas men's track & field team - ahem, the defending Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field champion Texas men's team. Among the 5A state meet entrants he had the second-fastest regional time in the 400 meters (47.65) and third-best height in the pole vault (15-6).
Blake Blackmar (Houston Clear Lake) - 2014 offensive lineman
5A boys discus
He's a UT football legacy and Eric reported Wednesday that he'll be meeting with Longhorn coaches while he's in Austin for the state meet. He had the seventh-best throw of the nine state qualifiers in the 5A discus group. For football he has reportedly been offered by Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Missouri, and Washington State.
Elton Dyer (South Houston) - 2014 wide receiver
5A boys high jump
He has just come onto the football recruiting radar recently. Dyer is a 6-3 athlete who, in addition to high jumping 6-11 and playing football, is also a talented basketball player. This past season he led his South Houston team by averaging 19 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Tony Brown (Beaumont Ozen) - 2014 defensive back
4A boys 4x100 meter relay, 110 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash
Brown will be the heavy favorite in the 110 hurdles, According to DyeStat he is tied for the fastest time in that event in the nation this year (13.38, which he ran at the Texas Relays). For reference, the winning time in the 110 hurdles at last week's Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships was 13.70. Brown finished 3rd in the 100 meters at his regional meet, but he qualified for the state meet by virtue of his time (10.59) being the best out of the 3rd place finishers at the four regional meets. Not only that, it was third best out of all state qualifiers. Ozen's 4x100 meter relay team had the fastest regional time out of the state qualifiers (41.12). His sister, Bealoved Brown, who has signed to run track at LSU, will be running in the 4A girls 200 meter dash, in which she has the 4th-fastest seed time (24.37).
Kevin Harris (Texarkana Texas) - 2014 athlete
4A boys 4x100 meter relay, 4x200 meter relay, 200 meter dash
Harris won the 200 meters at the 4A Region 2 meet and anchored Texas High's winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays. He could be among the little-known football athletes who receive increased interest with a strong showing at the state meet, and he stands a very good chance of leaving Austin with three gold medals. His 200 meter time at regionals (21.03) was the fastest of the 4A state qualifiers and .03 faster than Robbie Rhodes's winning time at the 2012 state meet. Texas High's 4x200 meter relay team ran 1:25.17 at regionals, the only foursome out of the 4A state qualifiers to break 1:26.
Cameron Burrell (Fort Bend Ridge Point) - 2013 track athlete (Houston signee)
4A boys 4x100 meter relay, 100 meter dash, 4x400 meter relay, and long jump
As most readers are probably aware, Burrell is the son of former U.S. Olympic sprinter Leroy Burrell, who held the world record in the 100 meters at one time, and Michelle Finn-Burrell, who won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics as a member of the U.S. women's 4x100 meter relay team. Can't beat genes like that.
He has signed to run track at the University of Houston, where his father is the men's track coach. This will be Cameron's third trip to the state meet. He finished 2nd in the 5A 100 meter dash in 2011 (10.34), and in 2012 he won the 4A 100 meters (10.57), took 3rd in the 200 meters (21.54), and finished 9th (last) in the long jump after fouling on three of his six jumps and only flying 21-1.5 on his best leap.
He has been dominant in the 100 meters this spring and it would be an upset if anyone else won the 4A final. He's got a chance to win four gold medals but he and his relay teammates won't be a heavy favorite in any of his other three events.
Kendall Sheffield (Fort Bend Marshall) - 2015 defensive back
4A boys 110 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles
Sheffield will be one of the state's most coveted football recruits in the class of 2015 and he's already one of its top hurdlers, but he probably won't win state in the 110 hurdles until after Tony Brown graduates. Still, were he to upset Brown in that race, and Arno Hamilton to win the event in 5A, this would mean the 110 hurdles state finals in the state's two largest classifications were both won by sophomores. Sheffield has the 2nd fastest seed time among the 300 meter hurdlers in the 4A field (37.56).
Darien Tennon (Fort Worth Trimble Tech) - 2013 track prospect
4A boys 110 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash, and 300 meter hurdles
Tennon pulled off an unusual trifecta by winning the 100 meter dash, 110 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles at the 4A Region 1 meet. His regional time in the 300 hurdles (36.83) is the fastest time in the state this season, according to DyeStat. It would be an upset if he won either of his other events, but a top-3 finish in all three of them would still be very remarkable. Texas Tech recently became the first school to offer him a track scholarship, and more should follow.
Antwuan Davis (Bastrop) - 2013 defensive back (Texas signee)
4A boys 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash
Davis narrowly lost in the 4A 100 meter final a year ago, as he got off to a horrible start, recovered to make a strong push in the last half of the race, but finished .01 behind winner Cameron Burrell. He has run some very strong races this spring but not as consistently or as fast as Burrell. Still, if anyone other than Burrell wins the 4A 100 meter final, it will most likely be Davis. The 10.54 he ran at regionals is the 2nd-best seed time in the 4A group, behind Burrell. When he enrolls at UT he'll join a Longhorn secondary already full of former high school track stars, and he might only be the third or fourth-fastest member of that unit this fall.
Kadarrius "K.D." Cannon (Mount Pleasant) - 2014 wide receiver
4A boys 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash
IT readers should know his name very well by now. Cannon is the state's most sought-after wide receiver in the 2014 class, and has also been one of its fastest sprinters this spring. He finished 2nd in both the 100 (10.74) and 200 meters (21.61) at the 4A Region 2 meet. Fast though he is, it would be a shock if he won either event this weekend. There may be more drama involving which school's socks he wears at the meet than where he ends up placing in his events (this writer saw him wearing Baylor socks at regionals two weeks ago).
Aaron Sharp (Humble Summer Creek) - 2014 quarterback
4A boys 4x200 meter relay, 200 meter dash, 4x400 meter relay
If I told you there was a quarterback in Class 4A who was 6-2 or 6-3 and could run the 200 meter dash in 21.19 seconds, and I put the over/under on his rushing yardage in 2012 at 400.5, you would take the over in a heartbeat, right? Remarkably, the lightning-fast Aaron Sharp, who recorded the second-fastest seed time among the 4A 200 meter finalists, rushed for only (depending on your source) 184-300 yards. He has put up great passing stats though (3,000+ yards and 38 TDs in 2012), and he's probably the fastest "pro style" QB prospect in the nation. He has been offered by Houston, Utah, and UTEP.
Robert "Robbie" Rhodes (Fort Worth Southwest) - 2013 wide receiver (Baylor signee)
4A boys 4x200 meter relay, 200 meter dash, and 4x400 meter relay
Rhodes is the defending 4A 200 meter dash state champion. He hasn't yet matched his best times from last year but he is peaking at the right time, having run a 21.27 in the 4A Region 1 200 meter final, after running 21.13 in the prelims. This will be his third trip to the state meet; he was a member of Southwest's all-sophomore 4x100 relay team that finished 4th in 2011 (41.45), then the same group won that event in 2012 with a run of 40.90. Also in 2012, he and his Southwest teammates finished 2nd at state in the 4x200 relay, finishing in 1:25.45 and losing to a Lancaster team that set a new Class 4A state meet record (1:24.89).
Now, as a senior, he'll run at the state meet on two relay teams, on which he has a new group of teammates. Southwest's 4x200 relay has the seventh-best seed time, and its 4x400 relay the fifth-best. If Rhodes is going to get another state meet gold medal, he'll have to win it himself in the 200 meters.
Jerrod Heard (Denton Guyer) - 2014 quarterback (Texas commit)
4A boys 4x200 meter relay
Heard, the starting QB of Guyer's Class 4A Division I state champion football team, and arguably the state's best quarterback prospect in the 2014 class, is listed as a leg of Guyer's 4x200 relay team. For them to win would require even more of a superhuman effort than what Heard did to Georgetown at Cowboys Stadium in December, as Guyer's seed time (1:26.72) is eighth-best out of the nine finalists.
Chris Richardson (Granbury) - 2013 track athlete
4A boys 400 meter dash
He won't be a college football player, but I mention him for two reasons: 1. he is the first Granbury male athlete to qualify for the state track meet since 2004, and only the third going back to 1998, and 2. this writer is an alum of Granbury High. On his way to the state meet, Richardson broke the school's record in the 400 meters, which had stood since 1982, and later he bettered his own record with the 48.57 he ran at the 4A Region 1 meet. He didn't qualify for state in the 200 meters but he did break the school record in that event this year, becoming the first Granbury sprinter ever to break 22 seconds.
Logan Brittain (Canyon Randall) - 2013 Texas track signee
4A boys high jump and long jump
The future Longhorn high jumper will make his fourth trip to the state meet and is the two-time defending 4A high jump champion. As a freshman in 2010, he jumped 6-6 and finished fourth. He won the event in 2011 and 2012, with winning heights of 7-feet and 6-10, respectively. He jumped 6-8 at regionals but has cleared as much as 7-3 this season, tied with Las Vegas Bishop Gorman's Randall Cunningham (son of the former NFL quarterback) for the best height in the nation this year. Though standing only 5-feet-11, he has cleared the bar at 7 feet numerous times in his high school career. This year he also advanced to state in the long jump for the first time, and his best jump at regionals (23-6.5) is the fourth-best seed mark in the 4A group (though it's a better distance than any of the 5A state qualifiers jumped at regionals).
Jay Bradford (Splendora) - 2015 running back
3A boys 100 meter dash and long jump
Readers of this site have seen both Eric and myself beat the drum for Bradford since I first wrote about him
in March. Readers of other sites probably never heard of him until roughly a week ago after news got out about his performances at the 3A Region 3 track meet, where he won the 100 meters with a time of 10.54 (second-best 3A seed time at state), and also won the long jump with a leap of 23-10. He has remained under the radar as a football prospect until very recently, but combine his track times with his 5-foot-10 190-pound frame, and you've got a running back who should be among the state's best in his last two years of high school.
Carlton Anumnu (Stafford) - 2013 track athlete (Texas signee)
3A boys 100 meter dash
He was one of three speedsters from Stafford to sign with Texas this year, the others being his brother Charles Anumnu, and sprinter/hurdler Easy Anyama. At last year's state meet, Carlton finished 2nd in the 100 meters and was a member of Stafford's 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay teams that both won gold. This year, only Carlton made it back to state, and his seed time in the 100 meters is fourth-best in the 3A group.
Tre'Vontae Hights (Yoakum) - 2015 athlete
3A boys 4x200 meter relay, high jump, long jump, and triple jump
I've mentioned Hights on the boards once or twice in regard to his track accomplishments but not really as a football prospect. His name is sometimes styled TreVonte, and is written that way on the U.I.L.'s official heat sheets, but Yoakum's head football coach tells me his first name is spelled Tre'Vontae. He's a small-school athlete who could be recruited at a number of positions. He doesn't seem to have gotten the attention of college football programs yet, but some college track coaches have talked to Yoakum's track coach about him.
He rushed for 8 yards/carry and 8 touchdowns in a little over half of the 2012 season, and in limited time at QB he completed 21 passes for 369 yards. It's too early to say what his college position will be, but he's around 6 feet tall and his qualifying for the state meet in all three jumping events shows he has some explosion to him, and it might help his name recognition with college football recruiters. He comes into the state meet with the third-best seed mark in the long jump, sixth-best in the triple jump, seventh-best in the high jump, and Yoakum as the 9th and slowest seed time in the 4x200 relays.
2012 highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1815059/highlights/46426378
Terrance Robinson (Ingleside) - 2014 wide receiver
3A boys 400 meter dash
After qualifying for state in the 400 meters at the 3A Region 4 meet, Robinson tweeted "We're goin back to austin ingleside, I ain't comin back in 5th this time either." He was referring to his finish in the 3A 400 meter dash final at the 2012 state meet, where he ran a time (48.42) that would have been good enough for a medal in almost any year, but all four of the runners to finish ahead of him broke the 48-second mark. (Celina's Zack Bilderback won in 47.27 seconds. He is now a member of the UT men's track team and placed third in the 400 meters last week at the Big 12 Outdoor Track Championships.) Not since the 1999 state meet had four runners in 3A broken 48 seconds in the 400 meter final. That is unlikely to be repeated this weekend, as only one of the 3A 400 meter finalists broke 48 seconds at regionals, and in fact only three ran sub-49 second times, with Robinson's 48.94 being the third-fastest. Look for him to return to Ingleside with a medal, and for his recruiting stock to blow up this fall if college coaches don't remove him from their boards because of his language on Twitter. (See my March article
on Robinson and his teammate Christian Britt.)Ty Slanina
(East Bernard) - 2013 athlete (TCU signee)
2A boys 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 4x400 meter relay, and long jump
The talented athlete, who played quarterback for East Bernard's Class 2A Division II state champion football team, qualified for the state track meet in four events. He won the 2A long jump in both 2012 and 2011, with distances of 22-6 and 23-9.25, respectively. He also won a gold as the anchor leg of East Bernard's winning 4x400 meter relay team in 2012, which clocked in a 3:22.38. In 2013, he has the best seed mark in the long jump (23-0.5), but the fifth-best in the 100 meters and seventh-best in the 200 meters.
De'Metrius "Dee" Paul (Munday) - 2013 athlete (Texas Tech signee)
1A Division 1 boys 4x100 meter relay, 300 meter hurdles, 4x400 meter relay, long jump, and triple jump
Paul may be the most high-profile athlete in the two Class 1A fields (1A is split into two divisions for the first time at this year's state meet). The future Red Raider already owns six gold medals from past trips to the state meets. He is the two-time defending 1A champion in the 300 meter hurdles, and Munday's 4x400 meter relay team will likewise be going for its third straight win. Paul also won the long jump in 2012 and the triple jump in 2011. This year he has either the best or second-best seed time or mark in four of the five events he qualified for. He has the fastest seed time in the 300 hurdles by nearly two seconds (37.88), the best seed mark in the long jump by over a foot (23-11), Munday's 4x400 relay team (which he anchors) has the best seed time by over two seconds (3:20.93), and their 4x100 relay team has the second-best seed time (43.10). He could also put his name on a state record or two this weekend, as the 1A state meet record in the 300 hurdles (which has stood for 30 years) is 37.44, and the 4x400 relay record (which a previous generation of Munday runners set in 1988) is 3:18.14. Four gold medals for Paul is a very good possibility. Five seems unlikely, as his seed mark in the triple jump (44-8) is only the sixth-best, and over two feet behind the top mark. Still, he jumped 45-4 when he won that event in 2011, and anything can happen at state.
Races to watch:
5A boys 200 meter dash
At the 2012 state meet, the top five finishers in the 5A final for this event all broke 21 seconds, led by Abraham Hall's winning time of 20.58. Suffice it to say, there aren't many high school meets where the fifth place finisher in a 200 meter final runs a 20.90. This year, San Antonio Johnson's Cameron Williams (20.93) and Katy Morton Ranch's Eli Hall-Thompson (20.96) own the two fastest seed times in this race, and two others ran below 21.1 at regionals. The winner will probably have to run under 21 to win, and this could be another year where multiple runners break that mark, something that doesn't happen at the state meet every year.
4A boys 4x100 meter dash
This one will be worth watching not because any records are likely to fall (none of the relay teams in this group ran under 41 seconds at regionals), but because of the star power involved and how close the finish could be. When you've got Kevin Harris (Texarkana Texas), Tony Brown (Beaumont Ozen), and Cameron Burrell (Fort Bend Ridge Point) waiting to take the baton on the anchor leg, it'll all be about whose team can give them the lead.
4A boys 100 meter dash
Based on Cameron Burrell's performances this season he seems almost like a shoo-in to defend his state 100 meter title, but even if he wins as expected, there will still be a heck of a battle for 2nd place. Also competing in this race will be: Texas football signee and 2012's state runner-up Antwuan Davis (Bastrop), Tony Brown (Beaumont Ozen), K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant), and TCU football signee Ranthony Texada (Frisco Centennial)
4A boys 4x200 meter relay
Texarkana Texas will be the heavy favorite in this race, as nobody in 4A has come close to their seed time (1:25.17). Runners and relay teams tend to save their best for state, though, and if any other relay team is fast enough to push Texas High there's a very good chance the 4A meet record (1:24.89) will fall.
4A boys 200 meter dash
Without a doubt, this race will have the most star power of any race in the whole meet. It features Baylor football signee and defending 4A state 200 meter champion Robbie Rhodes, Antwuan Davis, Aaron Sharp, K.D. Cannon, Kevin Harris, and Texas football signee Montrel Meander (who finished 7th at state in this race a year ago, and whose 21.68 is the slowest seed time in the group this year).
4A boys shot put
This event can usually be counted on to feature a future FBS lineman or two, and this year is no different. The 4A field includes: Texas Tech football signee Cody Hayes (Fort Worth Eastern Hills), Oklahoma State football signee Ben Hughes (Waco University), Louisiana-Monroe football signee Matthew Oubre (Dayton), 2014 offensive lineman Jacob Bragg (Nacogdoches), 2014 running back prospect Devin Bisby (Gregory-Portland), who also competed at the state powerlifting meet, and Sam Houston State football signee Patrick "P.J." Hall (Seguin), who I wrote about in December
3A boys long jump
With Jay Bradford and Tre'Vontae Hights among the top contenders in the event, it will have two very talented football players who should break out as major 2015 recruits next fall.