An Exclusive High School Relay Club Awaits Next Member; Kingwood Chasing Entry This Weekend

jake-and-carson-foster-brothers-400-im-finals-2019-usa-nationals-finals-day-3-103 - High school Relay
Carson (left) and Jake Foster. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

An Exclusive High School Relay Club Awaits Next Member; Kingwood Chasing Entry This Weekend

Every once in a while, an interesting statistic reveals itself while reviewing historical data or analyzing the entries for an upcoming competition. That scenario unfolded recently, specifically upon the release of the official qualifiers for the Texas 6A Boys’ State Championships.

When Kingwood High School defends its team title this weekend, the school has the chance to join an exclusive relay club. Namely, Kingwood can become just the sixth team (and fifth school) in history to produce a sub-1:30 effort in the 200 medley relay, a sub-1:23 performance in the 200 freestyle relay and a sub-3:00 outing in the 400 freestyle relay.

Membership in the Sub-1:30-1:23-3:00 club is extremely difficult to come by, as it not only requires top-end talent, but also superb depth. If depth is not a hallmark, a team-first mentality can make the achievement attainable, with some team members sacrificing an individual event in state-championship competition in favor of enhanced relay duty.

Sergio Lopez & Ryan Murphy. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The inaugural member of this special club was the Bolles School, which opened the door in 2013 under the direction of Sergio Lopez. With future Olympians Ryan Murphy, Joseph Schooling and Santo Condorelli contributing to all three relays, Bolles set a trio of national records, including a 1:19.27 in the 200 freestyle relay that remains on the books today. That Bolles squad was legendary, of course, and it is fitting the school opened the club.

St. Xavier, the powerhouse program from Ohio, boasts a pair of teams in this unique territory. St. Xavier’s 2017 team, which included future Arizona State standout Grant House, was 1:29.66-1:21.44-2:58.13, while the 2020 squad was headlined by a medley relay that registered a time of 1:27.97.

Another Ohio school, Sycamore, pulled off the feat in 2019 as Jake Foster and Carson Foster, now excelling at the University of Texas, led the way. During the same season, Carmel managed inclusion in the club, thanks in part to the contributions of Wyatt Davis and Jake Mitchell.

Heading into the Texas State Champs, Kingwood has a reasonable opportunity to become the latest member. Coach Mike Robinson has a team that was impressive at Regionals, where times of 1:31.99, 1:23.16 and 3:01.16 were recorded. With several weeks of rest between Regionals and States, the Mustangs might have the ability to become the club’s latest member.

Here is a look at the five teams in the club.

Bolles (2013)

200 Medley Relay: 1:28.02
200 Freestyle Relay: 1:19.27
400 Freestyle Relay: 2:54.43

St. Xavier (2017)

200 Medley Relay: 1:29.66
200 Freestyle Relay: 1:21.44
400 Freestyle Relay: 2:58.13

carmel-h.s.-400-free-relay-

Carmel’s 2019 team. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Carmel (2019)

200 Medley Relay: 1:29.21
200 Freestyle Relay: 1:22.71
400 Freestyle Relay: 2:58.75

Sycamore (2019)

200 Medley Relay: 1:28.48
200 Freestyle Relay: 1:22.26
400 Freestyle Relay: 2:59.97

St. Xavier (2020)

200 Medley Relay: 1:27.97
200 Freestyle Relay: 1:20.86
400 Freestyle Relay: 2:59.30

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