Interview with the meet directors of the NW Flyers Track Meet in Houston, Texas

How many different clubs were in attendance at the meet?

NW Flyers meet director Tony Runnels stated, “The NW Flyers has a state-wide reputation for putting on one of the most competitive youth track meets in the nation so people travel far and wide to run here. Actually, Houston has the largest association of youth track clubs in the United States. So, when you host a youth track meet like this, by definition, it will be big.” There were approximately 35 major track clubs competing at the NW Flyers track meet from across the state of Texas ranging in size from 20 to 400 members each. There were some unattached athletes as well.

What was the attendance for the day?

Approximately 5000 total attended, including 2500 athletes from across the state of Texas.

What were some of the highlighted performances of the Northwest Flyers?

The NW Flyers had strong performances all day, scoring in all event groups and age brackets – sprints, hurdles, distance, jumps, throws, and relays. The highlights for the day include 12 gold medals overall - 10 individual championships and 2 relay wins as follows:

  • Adrian Austin YM 400M hurdles (17-18yo) 57.20
  • Krystyn Bradley YW Javelin (17-18yo) 118’ 1”
  • Katie Bricarell IG Discus (15-16yo) 88’ 0”
  • Ruan Carley YM Discus (17-18yo) 151’ 2”
  • Brent Cowell YB Shotput (13-14yo) 40’ 1”
  • Keaton Hart YM Long Jump (17-18) 20’ 7 ½”
  • Tori Mack YW Shotput (17-18yo) 40’ 1”
  • Tori Mack YW Discus (17-18yo) 115’ 4”
  • Leslie Schilsky YW 400M hurdles (17-18yo) 1:03.58
  • Aiden Vennard MB Javelin (11-12yo) 128’ 3”
  • Sprint Medley Relay IB (15-16yo) 3:41
  • 4 x 400 Relay BB (9-10yo) 4:31

What were some highlighted performances of other clubs?

This was the first post season competition for UIL State track meet athletes and they were still running, jumping, and throwing in fine form.

  • Jeia Gilliam with Wings Track Club, the State 5A track meet runner up, won the discus throw.
  • Skylar Ross Ransom with Track Houston, the State 5A track meet 4th place finisher, won the 100 hurdles at the NW Flyers meet in 14.24sec.

What's next on the schedule for the Flyers?

The regular season competitions continue with two more local meets: The Wings meet will be held on May 27-28 at Willowridge High School, and the Track Houston meet will be held on June 3-4 at Butler Stadium. The regular season will be followed by a Houston area championship meet on June 24-25, a USATF Region 12 state-wide championship on July 5-9 at UT-Arlington, and the U.S. Junior Olympics National Championships on July 26 – August 1 at Wichita State University in Kansas.

Has any of the team qualified for National Juniors meet in Wichita?

In order to qualify for the Junior Olympics National Championship in Wichita, an athlete must place in the top 5 in their event at the USATF Region 12 state-wide championship in Arlington, which will host athletes from four regions across the State of Texas. We think we will qualify 50 or more NW Flyers athletes to the Junior Olympics National Championship in Wichita.

What has the season been like for the Northwest Flyers?

NW Flyers program director Pal Roach said, “We have approximately 275 athletes on the roster. We are experiencing one of our best seasons to date, and we expect to qualify a record number of athletes to the Junior Olympics National Championship in Wichita with the talent we picked up from the new athletes that joined the team this year, and the great performances from our 30+ returning Junior Olympic athletes from last year.”

What would you say described the atmosphere of yesterday's meet?

NW Flyers program director Pal Roach stated “The NW Flyers Track Meet at Rice University was probably the largest gathering of track athletes in a competition ever held at Rice. We had 195 adult volunteers from our team to organize and work the meet and clean up afterwards. Overall, we had a great meet with great track performances, and a spirited crowd cheering remarkably loud all day. The weather for the meet was almost perfect as cloudy skies and a slight breeze kept the temperature down to warm. The premier track surface allowed for extremely fast times in the running events, and many athletes achieved huge personal best performances at this meet.”

The meet was held at Rice instead of Klein, Correct?

The meet was moved from Klein Memorial Stadium because of ongoing construction at the facility and track resurfacing. Rice University offered a wonderful opportunity for youth athletes to compete at a premier college track facility which just last week hosted the Conference USA Outdoor College Track & Field Championships.