In less than two weeks, District 6-6A’s track and field athletes will ply their crafts in the postseason.
Programs have just over one month’s worth of meets under their belts, with this week showcasing two of the top regular-season showcases in the entire with the running of the annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, held in Austin, and the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays at Jesuit High School in Dallas.
Those meets pitted many of the top athletes in the state against one another, including representation from 6-6A, which has produced its share of standout performers over the first month of track season.
Team title favorites?
Marcus’ pedigree on the track is as stout as any program in the area — one of the select groups capable of racking up points in any type of competition, be it a sprint, relay, distance run or field event.
That balance is once again central to Marcus’ identity this season, particularly on the boys side where the Marauders have racked up a score of first-place team finishes. Their wins include the Coppell Relays, Dan Christie Relays, Coppell II Invitational and Hebron Hawk Relays — all of which have included at least one other program from 6-6A.
Couple that with the Marcus boys sporting the district’s current top time or mark in eight of the 17 events that will be offered in the postseason, and the Marauders have made a compelling case as the team to beat when they host the 6-6A meet on April 7-9.
One of the most prestigious races in track is the 100-meter dash, the sport’s closest barometer for determining the fastest athlete in a particular meet. The district’s sprints have been consistent in that the top times recorded this season in both the 100 and 200 belong to the same runners.
Marcus senior J. Michael Sturdivant, who’s committed to play football at California, has proven to be far more than a prolific wide receiver. Sturdivant has already recorded personal-best times in the 100 (10.68) and 200 (21.34), both of which are good for the top times in 6-6A thus far, according to Athletic.net.
Plano East junior Tiriah Kelley has enjoyed similar success with the district’s top times on the girls side in both sprints. A staple in the Lady Panthers’ sprints since her freshman year, Kelley is fresh off running a personal-record 12.03 in Rockwall last weekend — a time that’s good for No. 2 in all of Region I-6A.
Kelley’s 24.31 in the 200 is tops in both the district and the region.
Leaps and bounds
Just as Sturdivant and Kelley have shined in their respective sprints, Lewisville senior Daylon Berry and Coppell sophomore Skyler Schuller are 6-6A’s runners to beat in the hurdles.
Berry has made an impressive leap from his junior to senior year, having dipped his time in the 110 hurdles below 15 seconds twice this season with a low of 14.82. He’s unbeaten in that race in three meets run, as is also the case in the 300 hurdles where’s shaved his personal-best time below the 40-second threshold for a 39.26.
Schuller, meanwhile, was in the midst of a breakout year as a freshman before last season was put on hold but has promptly made up for lost time as perhaps the most versatile track athlete in the entire district. Part of that arsenal includes a combined six wins in the 100 and 300 hurdles — highlighted by a season-high 14.42 in the former and a personal-best 45.09 in the latter.
Beyond their years
Of the six individual races on the girls side, Flower Mound has a top-four time in every one of them. That’s thanks in part to the efforts of a freshman class that’s already showing it can hang with the district’s elite.
Freshman Emma Hoang currently boasts 6-6A’s top times in the 400 (57.65) and 800 (2:12.35) in addition to the No. 2 time in the 200 (25.37) and the No. 4 mark in the 100 (12.50). Fellow freshman Samantha Humphries, meanwhile, leads all district runners in the 3,200 (10:57.13) and is No. 3 in the 1,600 (5:00.03), while twin sister Nicole Humphries is No. 2 in the mile at 4:57.11.
Fittingly enough, all three team with junior London Gray to run the 4x400 relay, another event at which the Lady Jaguars have the district’s top time at 3:57.44.
Playing the field
Schuller’s dominance isn’t just limited to the hurdles. She also competes in the pole vault (13-6), high jump (5-8) and long jump (18-5 1/2) — recording personal-best and district-high marks in all three events.
Schuller shattered Coppell’s pole vault as just a freshman last year and holds a commanding 2 1/2-foot lead in the event against her 6-6A peers. Should she compete in the high jump and long jump in the postseason, there should be a bit of resistance in each event — her teammate, sophomore Megan Judd, has cleared 5-7 in the high jump and Hebron junior Kelis Armstrong is only two inches behind in the long jump at 18-3 /12. Armstrong also holds the No. 2 distance in the triple jump (36-7 1/2) behind Plano West senior Viktorine Ngwube (37-11 1/2).
On the boys side, Marcus has the jumps fortified with district-leading efforts by junior Zane Hicke in the high jump (6-4), Sturdivant in the long jump (23-0 1/2) and junior Kristopher Lester in the triple jump (44-1).
Elsewhere, one of the more compelling tussles in the district meet should be who winds up on the medal stand in the girls’ throwing events. The trio of West senior Michelle Ogbemudia, Hebron junior Skylar Bohman and Marcus sophomore Emma Sralla have distanced from the pack in both the shot put and discus throw.