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CHRIS MOORE — Speed is awesome and that speed is all over Port Arthur

People are enamored with speed. From the time we are young, we line up on the field at recess while one of our classmates yells, “Ready. Set. Go.” The participants sprint as fast as they can towards another classmate. The winner was either the first to slap another classmate’s hand, make it past an arbitrary line or to a chain-link fence.

The fastest kid was the coolest kid. Those were just the rules. That doesn’t change much as we get older. As we age, we buy fast cars. We watch in admiration as other people run fast.

During the 2012 Summer Olympics, soccer was the most-Tweeted sport, but Usain Bolt was the most Tweeted name. Four years prior, the appropriately-named track star literally raced to fame as he dominated the track events at the Beijing games.

With the entire world watching in 2012, his star grew brighter. The fastest man was the coolest man.

In 2019, Texas high school student athlete Matthew Boling became an Internet sensation after running a 9.98 second 100-meter dash. Boling went on to win a national championship for Georgia this past week by running a 20.19 in the 200-meter dash, which also broke a school record.

It is the perfect viewing experience, especially for a world with a rapidly-devolving attention span. In the time it takes to watch a TikTok video, one can watch multiple heats from different races.

This past weekend, with the Bulldog Relays in Nederland, I had the pleasure to be an up-close spectator again. The weather was perfect with 75-degree temperatures, overcast skies and a cool breeze.

Memorial dominated the 4×100 races in the boys and girls divisions. Memorial’s team of Paris Martin, Antoneia Bohanon, Saniah Bathea and Alexia Lewis earned first place with a time of 50.64. The Titans boys team of Tyrence Augusta, Jaylon Guilbeau, Sanders and Edward Brown won with a time of 41.82.

In the main events, the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Memorial represented well. Junior Jah’mar Sanders came in second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.28; followed by sophomore Jelani Chevalier, who ran a time of 11.36. Both will return for the Titans football team next season.

West Brook star athlete Bryce Anderson came in first place with a blazing time of 10.98.

Memorial’s Tony Brooks won the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.46, which was nearly a full second faster than second place.

Sadly, high school track does not get the attention it deserves. Southeast Texans don’t pack the stands like we do for a football game, but we should. Our love of speed is one of our most basic instincts. We should embrace it.

Memorial is hosting an event Friday. If you are fortunate enough to have some time off, go and enjoy. You won’t be disappointed.

 Chris Moore is the sports editor for Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at chris.moore@panews.com.

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