Running, let alone sprinting, might not be for everyone. But these athletes were some of the best sprinters around while they were in high school. Some even went on to play professional sports and try out for Team USA for a chance to win gold at the Olympic Games!
From NFL star Tyreek Hill to the athlete who ran the 100-meter dash in under ten seconds, Matthew Boling, here are some of the fastest high school sprinters of all time.
While many people will recognize Tyreek Hill as one of the fastest running backs in the NFL, he had to hone that speed somewhere. Hill was actually a sprinter while attending Coffee County High School in Douglas, Georgia.
In 2012, he secured the fastest 100-meter and 200-meter dash times for a high school student in the entire nation, clocking in at 10.19 seconds and 20.14 seconds, respectively.
Noah Lyles made history at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2015, his 100-meter dash times went from 10.14 seconds to 10.07 seconds, a considerable drop when it comes to sprinting.
After being named Track and Field News High School Athlete of the Year in both 2015 and 2016, Lyles signed with the University of Florida. Ultimately, he decided to run professionally and not collegiately.
In 2015, Ryan Clark clocked in a 100-meter dash record in Georgia. Running for Banneker High School, his time was 10.18 seconds. That same year, Clark won the Class 5A state championship titles for the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 1600-meter relay.
After high school, Clark went on to run for the University of Florida.
While attending Homewood High School in Homeward, Alabama, Aaron Ernest was a football star who had some serious speed. In 2011, his 100-meter dash clocked in at 10.17 seconds.
Instead of accepting football scholarships, Ernest decided to run track at Louisiana State University. There, he won three SEC championships and was named an All-American 11 times.
In 2019, Matthew Boling went viral in the track and field community when he broke the ten-second barrier with a wind-assisted finish. His time was 9.98 seconds, making him the record holder for high school all-conditions in the 100-meter dash.
After his stellar career at Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, Texas, Boling made his way to the University of Georgia to run.
Ivory Williams was the sprinter to beat. However, no one ever did, and Williams went undefeated in 2003, his senior year at Central High School in Beaumont, Texas. With a 100-meter dash time of 10.16 seconds, he dominated the track.
Sadly, he never made it onto the Olympic team, just missing the cut in both 2008 and 2012.
Running for Reagan High School in Austin, Texas, Brendan Christian was named Gatorade National Track and Field Athlete of the Year. As a senior, he set the national indoor record in the 200-meter dash.
While he didn’t set the record, Christian also ran the fastest 100 and 200-meter dashes in the country. He went on to compete in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, representing Antigua and Barbuda.
Derrick Florence was a standout athlete while attending Ball High School in Galveston, Texas. In 1986, he won the 100-meter dash at the World Junior Championships with a time of 10.13 seconds.
Before signing to Texas A&M to run track, Florence was also named Track and Field News High School Athlete of the Year.
Even though he never managed to win a championship meet, Joseph Sheffield was very quick while attending Rowlett High School in Rowlett, Texas.
In 2016, he was the runner-up at the state championship in the 400-meter dash. The next year, he ran a 10.07 second 100-meter dash before heading off to the University of Oklahoma, where he became an All-American in 2019.
Before moving on to play football in college and then the NFL, Anthony Schwartz was a force on the track in high school. Running for American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida, Schwartz managed four 100-meter dashes with times under 10.15 seconds.
In 2018, his training led him to a crazy time of 10.07 seconds. As of 2022, Schwartz holds the world under-18 best in the event.
Houston McTear was a track star while attending Baker High School in Baker, Florida, in the late 1970s. In 1976, his 100-meter dash time clocked in at 10.16 seconds!
That year, he qualified for the Olympic Games. Sadly, an Achilles injury resulted in him missing an opportunity to run for Team USA.
A sprinter from Boys Town High School, Tim Thompson is the holder of the fastest 1100-meter dash time in Nebraska history, with a time of 10.20 seconds.
After graduating from high school, Thompson went on to become a three-time All-American at the University of Nebraska. He never beat his high school time, though! At college, his 100-meter dash time clocked in at 10.37 seconds.
During his high school career at William R. Boone High School in Orlando, Florida, Marvin Bracy’s 100-meter dash times went from good to great. From 2011 to 2012, his time went from 10.19 seconds down to 10.06 seconds.
He was named to the USA Today All-USA Track and Field Team twice before singing to run and play football at Florida State.
In 2005, J-Mee Samuels was Track and Field News High School Athlete of the Year, and he was also named to USA Today’s All-USA track team. At Mount Tabor High School in Winson-Salem, North Carolina, he ran a 10.08 second 100-meter dash, becoming the National High School record holder.
After high school, he attended the University of Arkansas, where he was a three-time All-American.
While attending Silsbee High School in Silsbee, Texas, Kalon Barnes was known not only for his speed on the track but for his speed on the football field. At the 2017 and 2018 state meets, he won the 100 and 200-meter dash events.
At the NFL combine, Barnes wound up stunning coaches when he ran a 4.23-second 40-yard dash, the second-fastest in history.
In 2011, Jaylon Hicks ran the 100-meter dash for North Shore High School in Houston, Texas, with an astounding time of 10.15 seconds. The time one him the Texas State Championships that year.
For team events, Hicks ran relays for three Class 5A state championship teams during his high school career.
Cairo High School was lucky to have Lubeech Graves running for the school in the early 1990s. He not only won three consecutive Illinois Class A state titles for the 100 and 200-meter dash, but he also brought home gold for the 400-meter relay and the 800-meter dash.
His 100-meter dash time was 10.18 seconds.
While attending Ridge Point High School in Missouri City, Texas, Cameron Burrell won the Texas Class 4A state title in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.07 seconds.
From there, Burrell went on to run for the University of Houston. He won three national championships — the 100-meter dash in 2017 and the 400-meter relay in both 2017 and 2018.
In 2008, Jeff Demps won the Florida State Final in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.37 seconds. That same year, the former South Lake High School student clocked a 10.25 second 100-meter dash at the AAU Junior Olympics. It was the second-fastest time of the event.
Eventually, Demps brought his speed to the football field, playing in the NFL from 2012 until 2014.
A native of Gastonia, North Carolina, Trentavis Friday attended Cherryville High School, where he ran track and field, specializing in sprint events. In 2014, he set the national record for the 100-meter dash, finishing the event in ten seconds flat.
That same year, Friday was named Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year. He went on to run for Florida State University.