The 4×400-meter relay is the last event run at track and field meets. It’s often an exciting conclusion that keeps fans buzzing as they flow out of the bleachers and into the parking lot following a long day outdoors.
The mile relay also is where a lot of Temple’s sprinting success starts.
“It’s the bread and butter. It’s really the baby of our team,” Temple boys coach Ron Ford said.
Three Wildcats — Willari Watson, Xavier Johnson and Jemiyah Franklin — who helped get a pair of Temple relays to last year’s UIL State Championships in Austin, where they won Class 5A silver in the 4×400 and bronze in the 4×200 en route to a fourth-place overall finish as a team, are back, and the goal is gold this time around.
Right now, for that trio and newest member BJ Sculark, all of whom make up the 2017 version of the 4×400, it’s about lowering times, improving conditioning and staying healthy, all while providing some excitement, too.
“(Fans) stay to watch us run. They know that we went to state last year, so they sit around and watch us warm-up and wait for us to run,” Johnson said.