The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


May 16, 2010

Neal: 'I've stood the test of time'

AUSTIN —  Twenty years ago, Greenville's Henry Neal stunned the Texas state track meet when he ran the 100 meters in 9.9 seconds, which still stands as a state and national record.

And make no mistake about it, he likes that his name still tops the list of all-time greats.

"I think I've stood the test of time," Neal said Saturday as he and several of the state meet's greatest athletes were honored on the field at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Neal, who looks like he could still run, still does. He occasionally trains with his son Henry Josey, who ran in the meet Friday night for Angleton in Class 4A.

Neal said he doesn't pay much attention to the top sprinters in the state every year or scout who might break his record.

"I wanted my son to break it," Neal said.

Josey was the second-fastest qualifier in the Class 4A 100 meters, but finished third with a time of 10.97, well behind his old man.

Technically, Neal's record is slower than it used to be.

When Neal ran in 1990, he was clocked at 9.9 seconds by meet officials using hand-held stopwatches, which was the norm.

In 2006, the University Interscholastic League converted all record times to electronic times, which bumped up Neal to 10.14. Slower, but still fast enough to keep the record.

Other top athletes honored Saturday were Luling's Ychlindria Spears, who set the national girls' record in the triple jump at 44 feet, 2 1/4 inches in 2001, and the father-daughter connection of Michael and Michelle Carter.

Michael Carter set the set the national boys' record in the shot put at 77-0 feet in 1979 while attending Dallas Jefferson. Michelle Carter of Red Oak set the girls' shotput record of 54-10 3/4 in 2003. Both records still stand.

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