DALLAS — On Saturday, four Panther track members made school history.
During the Skyline Invitational track meet at Skyline High School, seniors Cedric Whitaker, Keion Sutton and Marquise Edwards and sophomore Tayt Kinsey blistered the Dallas track with an eye-popping 41.89-second race, shattered a seven-year 4x100-meter relay record set by brothers Brent and Vince Middleton, Eric Srawley and Nathan Fisher in 2009.
Joey Foster, the Panthers head track coach, said though they are record breakers, their ceiling is much higher than what fans see during meets.
“The 4x100 is very technical, but they have the potential to be so much greater,” he said. “They have yet to truly tap their potential. The programs here have always been really strong in distance and pole vaulting, but sprinters have been hit or miss. I’ve been blessed with a lot of kids with super speed. They make me look good and my job easier.”
Foster, who is in the midst of his first season as a head coach, should know talent. He was inducted into the Sam Houston State Hall of Fame for both football and track and field and was a lead assistant coach on Lancaster High School’s 2012 boys state track championship team.
He noted the speed at which the four boys have meshed is amazing and, much like a quarterback and a running back in football and a point guard and his or her leading scorer in basketball, relationships are crucial to running relays successfully.
“Sometimes, when there isn’t any trust on a handoff, you’ll see kids do a complete 360 trying to get the baton,” Foster said. “They actually had a bad handoff on Saturday, but they didn’t panic. It’s really a testament to how they’ve gelled in such a short time.”
While the MHS boys 4x100- and 4x200-meter teams wait for confirmation on Thursday if they will compete in the 89th annual Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the University of Texas’ Mike Myers Stadium, both teams will most likely receive motivation from Kinsey, their local spark plug.
To Whitaker, Sutton and Edwards, the second-year sprinter isn’t only a teammate and a brother, he’s one of the most underrated runners in the state.
Kinsey, the four-boy team’s only caucasian member, is often overlooked because of size, demeanor and color, Foster said.
“We call him ‘Sunshine.’ He’s straight business on the track, but off it is one of the funniest guys you’ll meet” Foster continued. “We’ve gone to some heated meets and everywhere we go, they say ‘that little white kid is fast.’ A lot of boys think they are going to go out and beat him, but they learn pretty fast they can’t.”