McGuffie, Woolfolk Star in Houston Meet

The Alief Relays is a traditional annual high school track meet on the west side of Houston, attracting a plethora 5-A (largest class) schools from the area, including Cy-Fair (Sam McGuffie) from the northwest of Houston, and Sugar Land Dulles (Troy Woolfolk, Darryl Stonum, Brandon Herron) from the southwest Houston suburbs. And, as expected, McGuffie and Woolfolk put on quite a show for the fans.

First off, it is hard for people in the Midwest to imagine how much high school athletic talent there is in Texas. Even track is big-time down here, and maybe the best way to make a comparison is to say that a meet like the Alief Repays in Houston would be somewhat comparable to the State Finals in Michigan. To get a comparison for, say, the State Finals in Texas -- it would probably be an all-star track meet for the whole Upper Midwest - maybe a "Great Lakes States" meet.

One other note: the Alief ISD Stadium (Crump Stadium) is one of those concrete stadiums you see in the larger cities of Texas that hold 20,000+ fans -- but Alief is an older area of Houston, and so Crump Stadium is one of the older facilities, with an asphalt track of 70's vintage. For a track, an asphalt surface is very hard and can be pretty fast, but for the field events especially it doesn't have the "bounce" of a modern composition track, nor is it quite as fast.

GoBlueWolverine will have lots more on this event, including photos, video, and interviews, over the course of the week. To start off, here are the results of the event.

First Sam McGuffie.

McGuffie was the meet MVP. He won the 110m high hurdle finals in 14.5 seconds (all times hand-timed by several judges, who then confer and pick a 'final time'), despite stumbling at the last hurdle (he ran his preliminary in 14.3 despite again stumbling, this time at the next to last hurdle ... McGuffie never got completely comfortable on the asphalt surface).

McGuffie also won the high jump -- he easily cleared 6-4 to win the event, then had three tries at 6-6 -- with the whole crowd all looking on, he missed on the first two attempts ... then on the third and final try he just barely brushed the bar, and it stayed up, just vibrating slightly for what seemed to be an eternity, at which maybe point a gust of wind or a slight earthquake tremor must've come up because the jiggles increased and the bar slowly slid off.

McGuffie also won the long jump with an easy premins jump of 21-10 ... then he got to jump in the finals by himself and made a 23-3. The 5-11, 190 pounder's speed and power (he's heavily-muscled and broad shouldered -- no 'skinny track guy') in our opinion was most apparent on the long jump.

The asphalt track hurt his high jump mark, and also kept him from getting good height on his broad jump.

TMcGuffie also ran for the Cy-Fair 400 and 800 meter relay teams.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Next, Troy Woolfolk.

Woolfolk ran in the 4X200 meter relay team for Dulles -- but his main event was the premier event of the meet, the one with the most 'buzz' -- the 100 meters. Why? Because not only was Woolfolk there, but so was the defending 5-A State Champ in the 100m.

The slender Woolfolk was the clearly the crowd favorite in the event, because we heard whispers from numerous persons at the event that the defending champ had been held out of school for a year and was 21 years old somehow.

Woolfolk easily won his preliminary heat in the morning by what seemed like 10 yards.

Then, after a lot of waiting, in the late afternoon came the 100 meter finals.

Woolfolk and The Champ were lines up next to each other: Woolfolk a thinnish 6-1, 180 pounds, The Champ a heavily-muscled 6-1+, 205. It looked a little like David vs Golaith at the starting line. Then they were OFF -- the race was neck and neck all the way down the track, but at about the 50m mark The Champ got just a half body length ahead. Then, at about the 75m mark, The Champ did the unthinkable -- he turned his head and taunted Woolfolk! Troy responded with a final burst and it was a photo finish! The judges didn't have to decide who had won by a nose -- they disqualified The Champ for his taunt, and Woolfolk was declared winner, at 10.65 seconds.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Daryl Stonum. The 6-2+ 190 pound Stonum finished 4th in a heavily-bunched 200 meters final, in which the top five finishers were all within .1 or .2 seconds of each other.

And the Dulles 4X200 team, with Woolfolk and Stonum taking part, was the heavy crowd favorite for the event, but finished second when one of their teammates lost ground (did he stumble? or was there a poor baton exchange? we couldn't see from down on the infield) on his leg.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Brandon Herron was also there, supporting his teammates, but did not participate in this meet -- he told us he was concentrating on working out for football, but would join the 200m events for Dulles later in the season.

To repeat, GoBlueWolverine will have lots more on this event, including photos, video, and interviews, over the course of the week.

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