TMSAA: Future Stars
I'm sure most coaches can relate to this sentiment at this point in the season but when I woke up on Saturday morning I didn't want to spend all day at this meet. There's actually nothing in my contact that requires me to actually be on location anywhere over the course of a season. My duties are strictly to maintain the website and on average post one new article per day. But, as I looked in my cabinet to decide what kind of cup I would brew my coffee into that morning, at the last second I reached for the Yeti Tumbler instead of the ceramic mug and I'm glad I did.
As runners finished, awards were given and while tracking down some of these athletes for interviews I saw a lot of confused faces and strange looks from kids saying "Milesplit?" I can only imagine what some of their parents in the stands were thinking as I made them wait an extra minute or two to celebrate while some stranger on the infield pulled their kid aside, stuck a phone in their face, and started asking them questions. While most kids have heard of MaxPreps and Rivals most do not know that there is this one. "You mean there's a website that's dedicated to just cross country and track and field that has my entire history as a runner documented and you want to interview me for it?" For some, like Bellevue's Christian Burford, I suspect this will be the first of many.
Bellevue's Christian Burford set a new Class A 200m Dash record with a time of 25.87.
Whatever your preconceived notions are of the formation of the TMSAA (oh it's just a way to make money), having a high quality meet hosted at a collegiate stadium where athletes from across the state can come to and compete for a state title it is a step in the right direction for growing the sport in the state. I hope that more middle schools will apply for membership and start competing beyond just their city and county championships in the future because while the meet may not have full representation, the standouts at this state meet become the stars of THE state meet starting tomorrow.
After Burford mentioned she set a new state record, I had no idea what any of those even were. When the results came in that evening, some of the record holders are indeed names I'm familiar with:
Shamari Covington, Ryan Lovelace, Marius Steward, Conner Wingfield, Quincy Briggs, Tyra Nabors, Sanura Branigan, Dinah Winders, Brenay Williams, Arnazsia Johnson, Andie-Marie Jones just to name a few.
One record holder though and the time they posted at this meet stand out above all the rest however. At the state meet in 2019, Jordan Ware, now of Memphis Central High School, did this as an 8th Grader:
With that perspective, it's no surprise Ware is top seed in the 200m Dash and looking to anchor his Warrior teammates to a state record in the 4x2 on Thursday. If in the past, you haven't been paying attention to the results of this meet, you should start.