If you can just imagine for a moment that you are Jonathan Simms of Allen HS.
It’s the end of July. It’s hot and it’s been a long season. It’s been two months and 18 days since the Texas 6A state meet where you won the 400m dash(46.48), run a leg on the fourth place finishing 4 x 100 m relay(40.91), and anchored your team (splitting 45.9-46.0) to a second place finish in the 4 x 4 in 3:12.58.
It’s been 32 days since you finished second in then new personal best of 45.90 to take second at the Brooks PR Invitational in Renton, WA on June 14 before you hop over to the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Eugene, OR four days later and win the 400 m in 46.09.
You have been named to the Nike Elite program and have spent three days(July 27-July 30) in Beaverton, OR, Oregon before arriving in Des Moines, IA for the ‘23 AAU JO National Championships for the six day meet.
You then proceed to have one of the most spectacular track performances by a 16 year old sophomore in US history by doing the following:
Monday, July 31
800m prelims- 1h7(7) 1:57.43(54.96/62.47)
Wednesday, August 2
800m finals- 1. 1:51.69(54.00-57.69); 2.Stefon Dodoo 1:51.77 (53.98/57.79)
Thursday, August 3
4 x 400m relay prelim- 1h2. 3:18.08 (44.76 FAT split)
Friday, August 4
400m prelims- 1h13(1) 46.53
Saturday, August 5
400m final- 1. 45.12
4 x 400m final- 3. 3:16.43 (44.36 FAT split)
The accolades for those performances are a bit muted, but to reiterate, Jonathan Simms rewrote the record books on that sixth and final day. His 45.12 in the 400 broke the US High School sophomore and age 16 record of 45.14 set by the legendary Obea Moore(Muir, Pasadena, CA) in 1995. The time was also the fastest time in the world by a 16 year old. To cap it off, he ran one, if not the fastest relay leg in US high school history, in the 4 x 400m with a resounding 44.36 to bring his team from eighth to third in 3:16.43. For a kid who started off as a soccer player early on and has been setting records over the years, his success came as no real surprise, but yet to see it in print, one realizes how astonishing his performances were during that six day stretch.
As a young seven year old soccer player, Simms’ father, Daryl, saw that he was fast; able to cover the length of the field from his defensive position. It was on a drive home that his father began to talk to him about running.
“One day, we were in the car and he was asking me if…