Arlington Sam Houston’s Darrion Flowers enters state meet at top seed in 100

Posted Wednesday, May. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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UIL State Track and Field Meet

Mike A. Myers Stadium, University of Texas, Austin

Tickets: $5-$25 (gates open 7:15 a.m. each day)

Friday

3,200-meter run (4A, 3A, 2A, A-Division 2), 8 a.m.

Field events, all day; running events (4A, 2A), 6 p.m.

Saturday

3,200-meter run (5A, 1A-Division 1), 8 a.m.

Field events, all day; running events (3A, A-D2), noon; (5A, 1A-D1, Wheelchair), 6 p.m.

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Darrion Flowers’ track career began with a pair of borrowed spikes and an awkward crouch into the starting blocks.

“I had no idea what I was doing,” Flowers said. “It was my first time in the blocks. I looked lost.”

But the race started, and Flowers, then a ninth-grader at an Arlington Sam Houston practice, flew past his teammates, running 100 meters in 10.9 seconds. Suddenly, he was the fastest kid in school.

Two years later, the junior enters Saturday’s UIL Track and Field State Meet in Austin as the top seed in the Class 5A 100-meter dash. Flowers won the 5A Region I race two weeks ago in 10.34. The 5A race Saturday starts at 7:05 p.m. at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

It will be Flowers’ first shot at a state medal. He made regionals in the event as a freshman, but last year he competed in the 4x400 relay after tweaking his ankle in the long jump. This year, the 100 has been his race.

Texans coach Sam Bell said the plan this week has been fine-tuning Flowers’ start, and working on pushing toward the finish. Bell called Flowers’ speed “god-given.”

“[Sprinters] have a certain burst of speed that they can reach down and get to that some of them do not have,” Bell said. “You see it in Usain Bolt. [Flowers] is one of those types that has that certain burst of speed at the end that they’re able to get.”

But Bell had only heard of Flowers’ speed in 2012, when the rumor floated that there was a freshman who supposedly ran faster than anyone at the school.

Bell knew Flowers played basketball, but he never could find him to talk him into coming out for track. As the season started, and two meets passed, Bell didn’t think much of it.

Then Flowers showed up.

“He walked up to me and said he wanted to try track and I said, ‘OK, let’s see what you got,’ ” Bell said. “I didn’t really want to be like the guy who cut Michael Jordan.”

Now Flowers has the fastest time in the state, and even his time of 10.9 two years ago at his first practice would be good for the eighth seed in this year’s race. The next fastest time entering Saturday is 10.42, ran by Irving’s Antonio Franklin.

“[Having the top seed] adds confidence, actually, but you also have to compete going into it,” Flowers said. “I’m going into it not thinking about nothing. Not thinking about yesterday, just keeping my mind focused on beating the man next me.”

Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST

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