For a second straight year, Troy Taylor will be back on the streets of Dallas, challenging some of the world’s elite runners.
The Northwest senior will take part in the high school relay with 15 of the Dallas/Fort Worth area’s top cross country runners that will race with elite marathon runners through the 26.2 miles of Sunday’s White Rock Marathon.
After last year’s experience, Taylor jumped at the chance to take part in the relay again.
“I had a blast last year,” he said. “I got to be on TV. It was exhilarating. When they called again, I didn’t hesitate.”
Taylor will be running miles 21 through 23, the same stretch near White Rock Lake that he ran last year.
“I’m the third to last leg,” Taylor said. “My part of the course is all uphill. I handoff right before the downhill stretch.”
Last year, a problem at the start got the high-school relay with boys running two miles and girls one off behind the elite runners.
“They started us about two minutes late,” Taylor said. “We didn’t get a fair race. But we finished about the same time that we started behind them. If we start with them, we should be right there.”
Taylor hopes to get the opportunity to run with some the elite international runners in this year’s White Rock field that will be taking a shot at the course record. The elites will get $1,500 if they beat the high school team, which is expected to finish in two hours and 12 minutes.
“It’d be great to run with those guys,” Taylor said. “Last year when they handed off to me, I got to third and passed some of the elite guys.”
Taylor is coming off a strong performance at the Nike South regionals Nov. 19. Taylor took eighth, running a 15:54 5K. He narrowly missed a spot in the national meet.
“It was a tough course, but it was one of my best races of the year,” he said.
Taylor took 18th in the Class 5A race at the University Interscholastic League cross country championships in Round Rock in November. He ran 16:17 on the 5K course. Taylor took seventh the week before at regionals.
As a junior, Taylor earned a medal at state, running a 15:35 to finish ninth.
Taylor is still narrowing his choices for college. He hopes to have a decision before the spring.
Taylor will be joined on the relay Sunday by teammate, Zack Kirkland, who will run miles five through seven.